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BOHN'S ANTIQUAKIAN LIBRAKY. 



HENKY OF HUNTINGDON. 



Digitized by LjOOQIC 



1»R1NTCD BY WOO0FAEL AND KINDEB; 

ANGEL COURT, 8KINKBR STUEKT. 



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I 



THE 



CHRONICLE \ 



pENRY OF HUNTINGDOK^ 



COMPRISING 



THE HISTORY OF ENGLAND, FROM THE INVASION OF 
JULIUS C^SAR TO THE ACCESSION OF HENRY II. 



THE ACTS OF STEPHEN, 

KIKG OF EirOLAND AND DUKE OF NORHAKDT... 



TRANSLATED AND EDITED 

By THOMAS FORESTER, A.M., 

AUTUOB OP " KOKWAT IK 1848 AHD 1819," ETC., ETC^ 



LONDON: 
UENRY G. BOHN, YORK STREET, COVENT GAUDEF^ 

MDCCCUII. 



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CONTENTS. 



Sditor-'s Prbpacb 

Iekry op Huntingdon's Preface 

fflB History op the English 

'he Letter to Walter on the Illustrious Men op his age 
'he Acts op King Stephen, by an Anonymous Author 

General Index 

fcjDEX to Huntingdon's Poems 



PAGE 


vii 


XXY 


1-300 


301-319 


323-430 


431-442 


442 



DESCRIPTION OF THE FRONTISPIECE. 

The plate is copied from a pen-and-ink drawing in the margin of a 
[S. of Huntingdon's History, in the British Museum, of the fourteenth 
•ntorj'. One of King Stephen's barons, Baldwin Fitz-Qilbert, appears in 
le act of addressing the royal army before the battle of Lincoln, the issue of 
'hich was so disastrous to Stephen's fortunes, he having been taken priso- 
ler on the field. Baldwin is standing on a hillock, according to the hiS' 
bry, and leaning on his battle-axe. The army is represented by its leaders-^ 
jnights in chain armour — among whom we discover, by the device on his 
(lield, one of the powerful family of De Clare, to which Baldwin belonged. 
Itephen himself, distinguished by the diadem encircling his helmet, stands 
* front of the group, listening to the address which, we are told, he deputed 
Baldwin to make, because his own voice was not sufficiently powerful. An 
attendant has dismounted, and is holding his horse. 



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PREFACE BY THE EDITOfi. 



The credit to be attached to an historical writer depends so 
much on his individual character, and his opportunities of 
4icquiring information, that the student must naturally wish 
to know something of the personal history of an audior to 
whose works his attention is invited. Such memoirs are 
frequently compiled from scanty materials, but it may be 
reasonably expected that their details, however defective, be 
at least correct as far as they extend. The author, one of 
our earliest national historians, the most valuable of whose 
works is now presented for the first time to tlie English 
reader, happily supplies the means of satisfying a natiu-al 
curiosity, in the incidental references of a personal nature 
which may be collected from them. It is, therefore, some- 
what singular, that most of the writers who have supplied 
biographical notices of one so well known as Henry of 
Huntingdon, should be at variance with each other, while 
they have been led into some inaccuracies. A careful exa- 
mination, however, of his own works will serve to place 
the few facts of his personal and literary histoiy, to be 
gleaned from them, on a correct footing. 

There appears little doubt that our author was a native 
-of Lincoln, or of some part of that formerly very extensive 
3nd important diocese ; and that he was bom towM^ds the 
close of the eleventh century, probably between the years 
1080 and 1090. His fathers name was Nicholas, and that 
he was an ecclesiastic of some distinction in the church 
of Lincoln, we learn from an affectionate tribute to his 



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Vm EDITORS PREFACE. 

memory in the eighth Book of his History. It would 
appear from this avowal of his parentage, that the ch'- 
cumstance of his heing the son of a priest was consi- 
dered no blemish on Henry's origin ; the struggles of the 
papal court to enforce the celibacy of the secular clergy 
not having at tliat time been successful in England. Still, 
however, our historian seems to betray some personal feel- 
ing in his remarks on the act of the synod held at London 
A.D. IIOJJ, which prohibited the clergy from living with 
wives, " a thing," he observes, **not before forbidden," while 
he cautiously adds, that ** some saw danger in a strictness 
which, requiring a continence above their strength, might 
lead them to disgrace their Christian profession." This 
feeling further appears in tlie evident satisfaction witli 
which, " despite of any Koman, though he be a prelate, ' 
he tells tlie story of the incontinence of the cardinal who 
inveighed so bitterly against the married clergy in that 
synods 

Some passages in oiu* author's " Letter to Walter," trans- 
lated in flie present volume, have led to a conjecture that his 
father Nicholas held the archdeaconry of Huntingdon, to 
which Henry was afterwards preferred ; for in enumerating 
tlie dignitaries of the chiu-ch of Lincoln, he mentions 
Nicholas^ as the Archdeacon of Himtingdon to whom he 
himself succeeded; though he does not call him his father, 
probably because he was writing to a friend familiar with 
his family history. The terms " Star of the church," &c., 
which he applies to his father in the poetical epitaph 
composed on his death ^, seem to imply that he held a high 
ecclesiastical position ; and he again takes occasion to pay a 
tribute of fiUal duty in the " Letter to Walter," in which he 
speaks of the deceased archdeacon as " distinguished no 
less by the graces of his person than by tliose of his mind.' 
He then proceeds to give an account of his own appoint- 
ment, relating that " about the time of the death of Nicholas, 
who was Archdeacon of Cambridge, as well as of Hunt- 
ingdon and Hertford, when Cambridgeshire was detached 
from the see of Lincoln and attached to a new bishopric, 
he himself succeeded to the archdeaconry of the two re- 

' History, pp. 241. 252. « Letter to Walter, p. 305. 

3 History, p. 244. 



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EDITORS PREFACE. IX 

maining counties." Ely was tiie new bishopric, created, ^ 
Matthew Paris relates, by Henry I. in the year 1109; and 
as our author' informs us that his father died a.d. 1110, 
there seems to be a significance in the phrase that, 
" about the time " of the death of Nicholas, he himself 
succeeded to the archdeaconry of two of the counties. 
The appointment may have been made in the lifetime, 
and on the resignation of the former incmnbent; but, 
however this may be, the account furnishes almost con- 
clusive evidence that Nicholas, the father of our historian, 
preceded him as Archdeacon of Huntingdon, and that 
Hertfordshire was attached to that archdeaconry. 

While yet " a mere child," Henry was admitted into 
the family of Robert Bloet, a prelate of great talents and 
influence, who held the see of London from a.d. 109S 
to 1123, taking a distinguished part in the civil, as well 
as the ecclesiastical, affairs of the time. Our author gives 
a lively account in his "Letter to Walter"^ of the siunp- 
tuous magnificence of the bishop's household, in which 
he had opportunities of associating with noble, and even 
royal*, youths, who, according to the custom of the age, 
were nurtured in such establishments. Here he pur- 
sued his studies under the tuition of Albinus of Anjou, 
a canon of Lincoln, and subsequently Abbot of Ramsey, 
of whom he speaks in terms befitting his learning and 
worth. 

Henry appears to have continued in the Bishop Bloet's 
family until he arrived at manhood, and probably received 
from him, as his fii-st preferment, a canonry of Lincoln; 
which Bale^ states as a fact, though he does not refer to any 
authority for it Our author informs us, that during these 
early years, he composed several books of epigrams, satires, 
sacred hymns and amatory poems, which he afterwards 
published with his more important works. He could not 
have been much more than thirty years of age at the 
time of his appointment to the archdeaconry, and he 
was probably indebted for his early promotion to so 
important an office, to the estimation in which his 
talents and his* father's character were held by the bi- 
shop. 

» P. 302. ' P. 307. ' " lUustrium Britannise Scriptorum." 



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X editor's pretace. 

♦ OnihBdeafti oFEishop Bloct, in the year 112^8, itappe«r» 
HiKt Bishop Alexander de "Blois, his snccessor in the see 
of Lincohi, becoming sensiWe of Henry oi Huntingdon's 
extended knowledge and aptitude for business, admitted 
htm to the same confidence and familiarity which he enjoyed 
with his predecessor, and employed him frequently in im- 
poftant affairs. Both Bale and Pitts ^ state that he accom- 
panied Bishop Alexander to Rome; but they hare not 
informed us on what occasion. The bishop went there 
twice, in 1125 and 1144, and it is most probable that 
our author attended him in both his journeys, as, although, 
he does not mention it in express terms, his manner 
^f speaking of his patron's munificence, which gained 
for him at the Boman court the surname of " The Magni- 
ficent," conveys the. impression of his haying, on botJi 
occasions, been an eye-witness of his reception. Pitts also 
intimates that, after his return. Bishop Alexander preferred 
Henry to the ai'chdeaconry, on account of his faithful ser- 
vices and his great learning; but it seems clear, that he 
owed his promotion to the patronage of Bishop Bloet many 
years before. 

The History of England was probably commenced soon 
after Bishop Alexander's rettmi from his first journey. 
•It was undertaken at his request, and dedicated to him. 
The first part, comprising seven of the eight Books in- 
cluded in the present volume, and terminating with the 
Teign of Henry I., was given to the world soon after that 
king's death in 11S5. Thirteen years afterwards Hunt- 
ingdon continued his History to ihe period of the death 
«f Bishop Alexander, the liiirteenth year of Stephen's 
reign, a.d. 1148. This portion of the work forms the first 
part of the eighth Book, according to the present arrange- 
ment, concluding with an aspiration for the welfare, in 
"those evil times," of his patron's successor, the young 
bishop, Bobert de Chaisney. Himtin<2:don afterwards 
brou^it down the course of events to the death of Stephen 
and the accession of Henry II. in 1154; the latter pages of 
the seventh Book, and the whole of the eighth Book of the 
History, in its present form, being occupied with this part 
of the narrative. It may be inferred from a sentence with 

* *' Fitsias de illtistrrbus Angliae Scriptoribus." 



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which OB© of like MSB., a^arently ncTised % tiie aatthor 
hMDBelf, conchidag — " The accessicm of a new king demaods 
a new Book f *-^1imt he inui farmed the intention of 
adding a further contanimtion to the Histrwy, relating the 
transaetions of tfee reign of Henry II. Hie death pro- 
bahlj frastrated this design, for he speaks of himself as aa 
old man in his ** Ijetter to Walter," published many years 
before, and it is supposed that he did not long survive the 
accession of Henry II., being at that time, it may be calcu- 
lated, seventy years of age or upwards. The precise date 
of his death is tmfcnown, nor can anything further be added 
to Hie slight notices whidi have been now giv^i of his per- 
sonal history. 

Henry of Huntingdon's other works — ^besides the His- 
tory of England, and the epigrams, satires, hjinns and other 
poems, already mentioned — consist of : 

1. An Epistle to Henry I. " On the Succession of the 
Jewish, Assyrian, Persian, Macedonian, and Homan kings 
and emperors to his own time ;'' which is supposed to have 
been written in the year 1180. 

% An Epistle to Waiin, the Britmi, containing an account 
of the ancient Bntieh kings, from Brute to Cadwaller. The 
author accounts for his having commenced the History of 
fingland from the invasion of Julius Ctesar by his having 
been unable at that time to discover any records of an 
earlier period. He then tells his friend, that while at 
Ibe abbey of Bee, in Norniandy^ on his way to Rome, 
ke met Robert Del Mont (called also De Torigny), a 
mon^ of that monastery, and a great antiquarian, who, con- 
versing with him on the subject of his History lately pub- 
lished, showed him, to his great surprise, tlie British History 
<tf Geoffrey of Monmouth, recently written, from which he 
retracted the accotmts of the British kings given in his 
letter. The year 1139 is fixed as the date of Siis Epistle, 
on the authority of Pertz\ who quotes a passage from it 
to the effect that it vms written in that year during the 
author's journey to Rome in company with Archbishop 
Theobald, who was, or had been, Abbot of Bee. The 
editor of the "Monumenta Britannica,"^ who does not 

' " Monumenta (Jennanica," rol. ri. p. 481. ' Preface, p. 89. 



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Xll EDITORS FBEFACE. 

notice Huntingdon's attending Archbishop Alexander to 
Ronje, while most of his other biographers agree in that 
particular, adopts this statement. Wharton, however, in 
his " Anglia Sacra," gives another version, quoting a Ma- 
nuscript of the Epistle which says nothing of the arch- 
bishop s journey; whence Wharton conjectures that Hun- 
tingdon was at Bee in company with Bishop Alexander 
on their way to Kome when ^e letter to Warin was 
written. 

3. An Epistle to his friend Walter, " On Contempt of the 
World, or on the Bishops and other Illustrious Men of hig 
Age." Wharton^ and Hardy '^ agree in assigning the date of 
this celebrated Epistle to the year 1145, or thereabouts; 
but it bears internal evidence of having been written many 
yeai's before. Not only does it mention Bishop Alexander 
who died in 1148, as living at the time, but, moreover, 
expressly asserts of Henry I. that "his reign has now 
lasted thirty-five years" and quotes a prediction that it 
would not last two years longer, which was singularly veri- 
fied, as Henry I. died in the month of December of that 
same year 1135. Huntingdon, indeed, in a former pas- 
sage, refers to his History, to explain the discrepancy 
between the character he has drawn of Henry I. in the 
two works, but it is most probable that both were pub- 
lished together shortly after the king's death, this para- 
graph being inserted after the Epistle was written. The 
order in which he airanged his works, as will subsequently 
appear, confirms tliis conclusion; but, however this may 
be, nothing can be clearer than that Huntingdon himself 
assigns the year 1135 as tlie date of his letter to his friend 
Walter. 

4. Our author's only otlier work is an account of 
English saints and their miracles, principally collected 
from Bede, the intention of compiling which he had 
announced in an early part of his Histoiy. 

There appears to be no copy extant of what may be 
called the first edition of Henry of Huntingdon's Histoiy 
of England, which ended with the reign of Henry I. ; but 

> Preface to tbe " Anglia Sacra." 

^ Preface to the " Mouumenta Britannica." 



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EDITORS PREFACE. XIU 

the Arundel MS., forming, so to speak, the second edition, 
ends with the death of Bishop Alexander de Blois in th^ 
year 1148. So far as it extends, the Arundel MS. follows 
the same order of arrangement as those MSS., which contain 
the entire History together with the whole series of Henry 
of Huntingdon's prose works. They are divided into ten 
Books, of which the first seven correspond with the Books 
similarly numbered in the present volume. The eighth 
Book in the MSS. of both editions, according, it would 
appear, to Huntmgdon's own arrangement, includes the 
three Epistles, to King Henry I., to Warin, and Walter, 
aheady mentioned. The ninth Book contains the account 
of saints and miracles compiled from Bede. The tenth 
Book of the complete MSS. of the prose works continijes 
the History fi:om the death of Henry I. to the accession 
of Henry II. Two beautiful MSS. in the Library at 
Lambeth contain two additional Books, comprising our 
author's poetical works; the eleventh consisting of the 
satires and epigrams, and the twelfth of the hymns and 
other poems already referred to. 

Henry of Huntingdon's History of England was first 
printed in Sir Henry Savile's collection of the " Kerum An- 
glicarum Scriptores," published: in the year 1596. It was 
reprinted at Frankfort in 1603, and the first six Books are 
given in the " Moniunenta Historica Britannica," pub- 
lished under the auspices of the Record Commission in the 
year 1848. Savile omitted the eighth and ninth Books of 
the manuscript copies, as interrupting the course of the narra- 
tive, and made the tenth Book of Huntingdon's order the 
eighth of his own. This arrangement is followed in the 
present volume, but our author's tract on the bishops and 
illustrious men of his time, contained in his " Letter to 
Walter," and forming originally a section of the eighth 
Book of the History appeared to be so valuable an histo- 
rical document, and throwing such additional hght on the 
characters of many eminent personages connected with the 
History, that, although it could not be inserted in its former 
place, it was considered desirable to append it to the 
History. 

Mr. Petrie's collation of Savile's edition with four of the 



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MSS. has supplied a text of great piirity for ihe. first 
sis Books of HttQtingdon'a Histoiy which only are print6d 
in his collection; He observes, that the variations obtained 
1:^ the collation of the first seven Books were, on the whole, 
very few, Mid *those mostly verbid ; but that in the eighdi 
Book they were much more valuable, rectifying many mis- 
takes of Savile's printed text, and affording several additional 
Mr. Petrie's notes of these variations having been lost,";_it wias 
deemed advisable that a fresh collation of the eighth "Book 
should be made with two valuable MSS. in the British Mu- 
seum, Axundel, No. 48, and Boyal 13, B. 6^ both on vellum, 
and of the thirteenth or fourteenth century. This collation, 
some of the results of wliich are referred to in tlie notes, 
has not only served to improve the present version of the 
eighth Bookl but an examination of the MSS. has supplied 
the mealis of forming correct conclusions as to the order of 
Huntingdon's^ woriis and the dates of their publication. The 
"Letter to Walter" vms printed in Wharton's *'Anglia 
Sacra," ^ and in Dacher'a *' SpicUegium ;" ^ both of which 
editions have been consulted for the present translation. 

Henry of Huntingdon's merits as an historical writer 
were, perhapa,^ overrated by the old bibliographers, Pitts, 
Polydore Virgil, and John Leland, while modem critips 
have done hhn but scanty justice. The value of his 
History varies, of course, with its different epochs. The 
earlier Books being, as he infonnsus in the Preface, a com- 
pilation from Bede's Eflclesiastical History and the Chroni- 
cles, meaning the Saixon Ghronicle, they are of little worth, 
although occasionally supplying additional facts. The third 
Book, descaibing the conversion to Christianity of the 
several kingdoms of the: Heptarchy, though wholly compiled 
from Bede, has the merit of being a well digested, epitome, 
and of omitting the greater pafft of the mira«ulous accounts 
which b^eak th/s threadiof the venerable historian's narrative, 
our author jiadicioualy reserving them; for ai separate book 
pindeed, Heniy of Hiaatin^lMi's works in: general are inter- 
Bperaed with ywsy few of those sacied l^ends which, however 
diaraeteristle.^ the.age^ mar the historical effect^.thongh th^ 

' Preface to the " Monumenta Historica Britannica," p. 8t. 
• Vol. ik pi 994i, r ' fiQia..Tiii f^ 167. . 



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.£J}1X0£.£ rMS^AQE. XV 

mBi^ not weaken our reliance on the generai truthfulness of 
the narrative. In this respect he contrasts favourably^ not 
osaXy with Bade, but with Roger de Wendover and most 
other cluroniclecs, not excepting his illustrious contemporary 
William of Malmesbury. Hia freqvient references to ihk 
immediate interposition of Providence may be unsuited Uk 
the taste of mauy readers of the present day, but it must 
not be forgotten, that while he sometimes claims the di* 
' vine interference for veiy questionable objects, he gene- 
rally takes just, views of the hiunan means employed ia 
working out the dispensations of Providence. 

Approaching his own times, om^ autlior assumes the cha- 
racter of an origLual historian, and,, ajt the comm^ncemenl 
of his seventh Book^. tells, us that now he has to deal 
with events which had passed imder his own observation^ 
or which had been related to him by eye-witnesses* 
Still, however, the Saxon Chronicle seems to have been the 
basis of his History for the r<eign of William II., although 
additional matter is frequently introduced. But the latter 
part, of the seventh, and tbe whole of the eightli Book, 
containing the reigns of Henry I. and Ste^^hen, are more 
viiuable, the author having been eantemporaiy with the 
eyents he describes, and possessing singular opportunities 
of being well informed on all that, passed, from his familiajr 
intercourse with Bishops Bloet. and Alexander de Blo^ 
the nephew of IU)ger Bishop of Salisbury, the greatest 
. statesmen of the time ; as well as from his personal know- 
ledge of many other emineBLtcharactera,. as we learn from 
his " Letter to Walter;" 

Borrowing large portijonaof his mai»rial& from the Chror 1 
nicies,, it was natural that Huntingdon's. History, which 
Mattliew' of Westminster, indeed^ caJds. "his Chronicles^" 
should partake of the sam€^ chai'aater. Altliough the scienca 
of history may be considea:ed. a^ then in a.tiansition state, 
Henry of Huntin^on ha& the merit of being among ihe 
earliest of our national. HistedanS}.as> distinguished from 
Chronidersv The skekl^n- of history mw began to h» 
invented wkh consis^ncy^ oi f^sm mA prc^rtions^ tlte^ 
scattered limbs to be united, and life breathed into the 
dry bones. Political changes were traced to their origin,. 



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XVI EDITORS PREFACE. 

events connected with their causes, and developed in their 
effects, and the lines of individual character fully and vi- 
gorously drawn. Himtingdon's coloinring is often florid, 
but he was too much of a chronicler to fall into the error 
of some of four most esteemed modem historians, who, 
imder a specious guise, and in polished sentences, convey 
a very small amount of exact information. The genius, 
however, which enabled him to form the plan of his ex- 
tended work, distributing it into the successive periods 
of the Roman, the Saxon, the Danish, and the Norman 
occupations of England, and the sagacity of his obsei-va- 
tions, while tracing the origin of some of these i*evo- 
lutions, distinguish him from the mere recorder of passing 
events. The climax of the long series of events is wrought 
out with dramatic effect, when, in glowing language, 
but without losing sight of historical truth, he pictures 
England aa panting for a dehverer fix)m her ruined and 
distracted state, hailing, with exultation, the accession of 
Henry II., and entering on an era of peace and prosperity, 
the anticipation of which forms a happy conclusion to the 
work. 

The freedom with which he canvasses the conduct of the 
great men of the time, both in his History and his 
** Letter to Walter," not sparing even his patron, King 
Henry I., and the two Williams, his immediate predeces- 
sors, gives a favourable idea of our author's independence 
of character, and exhibits, what we should call, the liberty 
of the press, in a light we should hardly have expected under 
the iron sway of the Norman kings. But suspicion is thrown 
on parts of his narrative which are unsupported by concurrent 
testimony. That would, however, be a singular canon of 
criticism which should, on such ground, discard the state- 
ments of an old writer, whose general credit is unimpeach-' 
able, where there is no improbability in the circumstances 
related; and Huntingdon's History contains several inci- 
dents, unnoticed by other contemporaneous writers, which 
we should be reluctant to surrender ^. No one could have 
clearer views of the duty of an historian, as we have 

1 For example! nee the notes pp. 195 and 199. See also the note, p. 1S9. 



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'S 



EDITORS PREFACE. 



already shown, and as is also apparent in the Preface 
to his ** Letter to Walter :" ** I shall relate nothing/' he 
says, " that has not been told before, except what is 
within my own knowledge" — ^in which expression he evi- 
dently includes the testimony of other credible persons — 
** tiie only evidence," he adds, " which can be deemed au- 
thentic." He appears, on the whole, to have faithfully 
adhered to this sound principle, but his great fault being 
amplification, it occasionally leads him to exaggeration in 
<letiuls, which the careful reader will easily distinguish from 
the fabrication of facts. There are very few instances in 
which any serious doubts of his veracity can be entertained, 
and in these it is fair to suppose tliat he has been misled 
by the authorities on which he relied. 

A fervid imagination, and a diflfiise style » of composition, 
naturally betrayed oiu* historian into these occasioned errors. 
Such was his poetical temperament, which, as we have 
already learnt, he cultivated from his earliest yeai's, that 
even his own vivid prose sometimes failed of giving ex- 
pression to his feelings, and he vents them in verse. In 
an age when it might have been little expected, the court 
of Henry Beavxilerc was the resort o£ the learned ; our author 
dedicated his first historical work to that patron of letters ; 
William of Malmesbury found a Mecsenas in the king's 
natural son, the Earl of Gloucester, and his two accom- 
plished queens, Matilda and Alice, successively, extended 
their favour to men of genius. Geoffrey Gaimar and his 
brother, minnesingers of Normandy, flocked to their pre- 
sence to celebrate their praises and partake of their bounty. 
Nor were there wanting scholars who paid theh* homage to 
the Latin Muse, and made their offerings at the royal shrhie. 
lu most instances, alUteration and rhyme disfigure the 
metres, and fanciful conceits and quaint antithesis mark 
the wide departure of the versifiers of those times from the 
classical models they professed to follow. Henry of Hun- 
tingdon, though not entirely free from these faults, was one 
of the few composers of Latin verse, in that or preceding 
c^turies, who rose above the common level. He occasion- 
ally writes with a freedom and elegance, a pathos and 
poetic feeling, which have lightened the task of making 

b 



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viii EWi^OR'S PREPatCE; 

a veimon of' his poems suited to tike taste of modem 
times; 

Th« chronology of the History is very defective. During 
the Saxon period, it is based on the reigns of the kings of 
Wessex, witii reference to which the series of events in 
the other kingdoms of the Heptarchy is calculated, and the 
whole is adapted rather unsatisfactorily to the reckoning 
of the S»xt«i Chromcle. This cumbrous system occasions 
great confusion; His subsequent chronological references 
^re scanty and erroneous. Some of the errors are pointed 
out in the notes, and the dates have been generally rectified 
from the Saxon Chronicle, and, when that fails, from later 
authorities. The subject is fiilly discussed in the Preface 
to the " Monutnenta Historica Britanniea," and the intro- 
ductory remarks' on the chronology of the medieval histo- 
rians prefixed to that work. 

-, " The Acts of King Stephen," now first translated into 
English, forms an appropriate sequel to Henry of Hun- 
tingdon's History. Nothing is known of the anonymous 
author of this valuable fragment ; for such it is, time and 
neglect having so injured the only MS. copy extant, that 
several portions of the •narrative are obliterated, and the 
concluding pages entirely lost. The work, however, bears 
internal evidence of having been written by an author con- 
temporaneous with the events related, an eye-witness of 
many of them, and not only present at the councils where 
affairs of state were debated, but privy to the king's most 
secret demgn^ and springs of action. As he also appears 
to have been an ecclesiastic, it has been conjectured that 
he was the king's confessor. The ancient MS. referred to, 
preserved in the library of the duke-bishop of Laon, was 
brought to Ihe notice of Duchesne, who printed it in hjs 
collection of the Norman Historians, published at Paris 
in the year 1619: it has been lately republished by the 
Historical Society of London, under the careful editorship 
of Dr. Sewell, from whose improved text the present trans- 
lation has been made. 

Singularly enough, " The Acts of Stephen" do not contain 
;a single date, but, aa far as can be ascertained (a variety of 
events being related which have found no place in any 



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£mTOB& fflffiFAr^lH XIX 

<yd9ec history), tiie order ofi tiaii» is duly preserved* The 
numeixientd of Slsspb^a, who was m incessant action through- 
^nthis^ stormy reign, ave described with a minuteness which 
shows liiat tbe. author was present at the scenes he depicts. 
Many of them hiy in the west of England, and in Bou^ 
Wkles, where the Eari of Gloucester, tlie chief supporter 
i£ && cause' of the empress, had great possessions, and 
BQRioh ii^uence in ri^t of his wife, and of his mother, 
who was daughter of a prince of that country. But the 
enleeinises of (^her individual actors in those turbulent 
times fill a large portion of the author's pages, and these 
efHsodes form a very interesting part of the narrative. 
They enahle us to realize the state of society, when e^ery 
defensible positioa was occupied by a staroag castle, there 
being no safety outside the walls, and when eveiy man's 
hand was against his neighbour. In these scenes, the 
high-bom baron, and the ruffianly freebooter, alike living 
b^ fraud and violeaoce, are prominent figures, while licentious . 
men-at-arms, and Flemish and' Norman mercenaries, whose 
wages were rapine, follow in their train ; and gi'oups of 
affinghied and plundered citizens, and impoverished eccle- 
siastics,, lend it horrors. Indeed, as Dr. Sewell remarks, 
the. whole narrative " is one stirring series of events of 
personal and individual int^est, and, in this respect, it 
partakes much more of the character of a romance than 
of a history. We are transported at once into the camp 
of Stephen and his barons ; we are present at his coun- 
cfls ; we are hurried forward in the night march ; we lurk in 
the ambuscade; we take part in.the storming of castles and 
<aties. Now we stand in the wild momsses of the isle of 
Ely; at another time we reconnoitre the fortifications of 
Bristol ; from the hard -fought field of Lincoln we are carried 
to the walls of Oxford ; from the dungeon of the captive 
king we hasten to witness the escape of the empress, during 
all file severities of a December night" 

History presented in this attractive garb, leaves on the 
mind a far more durable impression than is made by the 
gBneralizations of modem writers, too many of whom 
Sfpoar to have been very superficially acquainted with 
the fflithorities whence they profess to derive theu* infoi 

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XX EDITOBS PREFACE. 

mation, while most of them have written under some par- 
ticular hias, political or religious, which has given a colour- 
ing to their statements, if it has not led to a perversion 
of facts. Truth must be sought at the fountain head, and 
happily for those who desire to form an independent judg- 
ment on the earlier periods of our nationsd history, the 
contemporaneous chronicles which not long since were 
confined to the libraries of the opulent, and sealed up 
in the obscinity of a dead language, are now brought 
within the reach, and opened to the perusal of the general 
reader. 

In the present volimae, the transactions of King Ste- 
phen's reign will be found recorded by two different au- 
thors. They should be read in connection with William 
of Malmesbury's " Modem History," which embraces the 
same period. " Taken together," as Dr. Sewell observes, 
** they constitute a valuable body of history. They re- 
^ ciprocally develope the politics of contending parties ; 
they serve as guides whereby to airive at the probable 
springs of action ; they supply mutual defects of informa- 
tion, they may serve to correct mutual errors." In com- 
paring Henry of Huntingdon's eighth Book with the " Acts 
of King Stephen," we have the advantage of considering 
the history of the times from opposite points of view, Hun- 
tingdon being warmly attached to the family of Heniy I., 
while our anonymous author was a pai'tisan of Stephen. 
But it is satisfactory to find how little their personal feeling 
was allowed to influence their statements of facts, or their 
estimates of character. Himtingdon does full justice to 
^ the bravery of Stephen, particularly at the battle of Lincoln, 
of which he has given so spirited a description ; while he 
seldom takes an opportunity of charging the king with 
those repeated breaches of faith, which were the worst 
stain on his character, and which the anonymous author 
freely admits, with the palliation tliat he was influenced by 
evil counsels. Both very much agree in their observations 
on the arrest of the bishops, which, though it might be 
justified by pohtical expediency, was one of Stephen's most 
tyrannical acts. But,|,while Huntingdon remarks that this 
prepared the way for his eventual iiiin, which it probably 



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EDITOBS PBEFACE. XXI 

did, by alienating the powerful clergy from his cause, the 
anonymous author considers that he expiated his crime by 
the restoration of the bishops' confiscated property, and a 
penance which was probably imknown to the other histo- 
rian. It may be observed, in passing, that neither has done 
justice to the noblest character of the age, Robert, earl of 
Gloucester, the natural son of Henry I. They have not 
failed to describe his miUtary achievements, which were 
not unrivalled at such a period ; to appreciate his higher 
merits of disinterestedness, firmness, and moderation, we 
must have recourse to liie pages of his admirable biogra- 
pher, William of Mahnesbuiy. 

Notwithstanding this general agreement of oiu- two au- 
thor, there is one part of their narrative in which they are 
found at entire variance ; and as it brings to notice a trait of 
some importance towards forming an estimate of Stephen's 
character, and is also connected with the early career of one 
of the greatest and wisest of our English kings, the subject 
may be -worth a few concluding remarks. Perhaps no part of 
Huntingdon's History does him more credit, both in point 
of style, and as a clear and succinct narrative of events, 
than his account of the expedition in which Henry, duke of 
Normandy, embarked, to enforce his rights to the English 
crown. The historian represents the yoimg prince as 
having hazarded a landing with a small body of troops, 
depending upon the justice of his cause, and the attach- 
ment of a large part of the suffering nation ; and that, im- 
patient of delay, he shortly afterwards took Malmesbuiy 
Castle by storm. He then, we are told, offered battle to 
Stephen, who had hastened to its relief; but the king 
drawing off his army, the duke threw succours into Wal- 
lingford Castle, and then having laid siege to the neigh- 
bouring castle of Crawmarsh, again offered battle to Ste- 
phen under its walls, though his forces were far inferior to 
the royal army. The history relates that the barons, on 
both sides, interfered to stop the further effusion of blood, 
and a truce was agreed upon, which, after some further suc- 
cesses of the Duke of Normandy, led to a treaty of peace, 
by which his right of succession to the throne was solemnly 
guaranteed. 

Such is Henry of Huntingdon's account of the campaign 



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X3U1 EBISOSiS gBianiMffff. 

^id its ^*esuhs. Let us now turn to that ^ven hj liie 
anonymous author of tbe "Acts of King Stephen," It xe- 
lat«8 that, on Henry s landing, he took no brilliant enter- 
prise in hand, hut wasted his time in sloth and negligence ; 
that he ivas repulsed with disgrace from Cricklede and 
Bourton, the only places he is said to have attacked ; 
and that his army, unnerived aad enfeebled by their disas- 
ters, at length disbanded. We are then informed that the 
young duke, worn out with shame and distress, applied cto 
his mother, the iCountess of Anjou, whose -treasury being 
ediausted, she had no means of supplying his pressing 
necessities. He also, it is said, had recourse to his uncle, 
the EmtI of'Glouoester — who, according to all otiiei' accodmts,. 
died before his nephew « -eKpedition-^but he, we are told, 
was too fond of his Money-bags, and chose to ireserve them 
for his own occasions. In this dilemma the young duke 
applied Xo King Stephen, his cousin, who gencaroufily sup- 
plied the wants of his ^greatest enemy. 

This noble Irait is ;peri[Mfep6 not incomsiBtent with Ste- 
phen's :gecieral character, bat, to say nothkig of the Ana- 
chronism respecting the Earl of Gloucester, and the 
improbability of the conduct attributed -to so faithfiil an 
adherent to the cause of bis sister aoid nephew, the 
account given of the young duke's pusillanimity -and 
negligence is .as tmuch at TariasKce with the personal his- 
tory of that gallant and indefaittgable prince, afterwards 
Henry 11.^ as it is with Huntingdon's account of these 
toansactions. Nor can it be understood how, with the 
umined fortunes here 4e6cribed, Henry was shortly after- 
wards able to establish his Tight to the throne, as it is^n 
undisputed fact that he did. 

Our anonymous author's account of the closing scenes 
of Stephen's reign, of which we are depiived by the ra- 
vages of time, may have thi'own some li^t on the in- 
consistency of the two statements, and it is just possil^ 
that his description of Hens-y's failure and distress may 
refer to some previous unsuccessful enteiprise of the 
young prince, which Henry of Huntingdon and all the 
other dironiclers have passed over in silence. But this 
is by no means probable, and the reasonable conclu- 
sion appears to be, that ithe pisfent is one of those 



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EDITORS PREFACE. XXIU 

not uncommon cases in which ^Titers, whose general 
truth and honesty cannot he questioned, are occasionally 
found to differ, not only in their details of minute circum- 
stances, but in theil* narratives of facts which might seem 
to have been sufficiently notorious. 

March 5, 1853. 



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HENEY OF HUNTINGDON'S PEEFAOE. 



TO ALEXANDER BISHOP OF LINCOLN'. 

As the pursuit of learning in all its branches affords, ac- ) 
cording to my way of thinking, the sweetest earthly mitiga- 
tion of trouble and consolation in grief, so I consider that 
precedence must be assigned to , History, as both the most 
delightful of studies land the one which is invested with the 
noblest and brightest prerogatives. Indeed, there is nothing 
in this world more excellent than accm'ately to investigate 

' Alexander de Blois was preferred to the see of Lincoln by Henry I. a.d. 
1123, on the recommendation of his uncle Roger^ bishop of Salisbury, the 
king's powerful and trusted minister. After Henry's death, the two bishops 
were suspected of secretly favouring the cause of his right heirs agninst the 
usurper, and Stephen^ taking umbrage at their erecting strong castles on their 
estates, caused them to be suddenly arrested and severely treated. The 
bishops were thus compelled to surrender their fortresses, including the 
stately castle of Newark, which Bishop Alexander had erected. They 
severely resented this harsh treatment, though Bishop Alexander was after- 
wards apparently reconciled to Stephen's government, and took a distin- 
guished part in public afi^irs, as he had also done in the latter part of 
Henry's reign. His biographers state that he was justiciary of all England 
and Papal Legate, but it would appear that what Huntingdon says of the 
uncle, the Bishop of Salisbury, has been inadvertently applied to the nephew. 
Alexander de Blois went twice to Kome where he displayed so much muni- 
ficence, that at that court he was called " The Magnificent." He also visited 
his friend Pope Eugenius IX. in France in the month of August, 1147, and 
died the following year, of a fever caught during his journey from the extra- 
ordinary heat of the summer. He was buried in the cathedral at Lincoln, 
which having been injured or destroyed by fire, he had restored to more 
than its former magnificence. His general munificence was great, and, accord- 
ing to the usage of the times, the episcopal establishment was splendid and 
sumptuous, and he was more engaged in civil affairs than befitted his eccle- 
siastical functions. But Henry of Huntingdon informs us that he was an 
excellent bishop, and much beloved and revered by his clergy and people. 
See his character drawn by our historian, pp. 284, 285, and 316. It is copied 
implicitly by B.oger de Hoveden. That the bishop did not neglect the culture 
of literature may be inferred from his suggestions to our author, which were 
the basis of the following History. 



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XXVI HENRY OF IIONTINGDON S PHEFACE. 

and trace out the course of worldly aflfairs. ' For where is 
exhibited in a more lively manner the grandeur of heroic 
men, the wisdom of the prudent, the uprightness of the 
just, and the moderation of the temperate, than in the series 
of actions which history records ? We find Horace suggest- 
ing this, when speaking in praise of Homer's story, he 
says : — 

*' Hit works th« beantifal and Iwse contain, — 
Of vice and virtue more instructive rules 
Tfaaa alt tke nhet sages nf the schools.'' ' 

€rantor,mdeed,andChrysippus composed laboured treatises 
on moral philo^phy, while Homer unfolds, as it were in a 
play ^ thecharaeter of Agamemnon formaganinmity, of Nestor 
for prudence, of Menelaus for uprightness, and on the 
other hand portrays the vastness of Ajax, the feebleness of 
Priam, the wrath of Achilles, and the fraud of Paris ; setting 
forth in his narrative what is vh-tuous and what is profit- 
able, better than is done* in the disquisitions of philosK> 
phers. 

But why should I dwell on profane literature ? See how 
sacred history teaches morals ; while it attributes faithful- 
ness to Abralmm, fortitude to Moses, forbearance to Jacob, 
wisdom to Joseph ; and while, on the contrary, it sets forth 
ihe injustice of Ahab, the weakness of Oziah, the reckless- 
ness of Manasseh, the folly of Koboam. O God of mercy, 
what an effulgence was shed on humiUty, when holy Moses, 
after joining with his brother in an offering of sweet-smell- 
ing incense to God, his protector and avenger, threw him- 
self into the midst of a terrible danger^, and when he shed 
teai's for Miriam \ who spoke scornfully of liim, and was 
ever interceding for those who were malignant against him ! 
How brightly shone ^ae light of humanity when David, 
assailed and grievously tried by the curses, the insults, and 

' Epistles, Book i. Ep. 1. 

* Two of the MSS. read speculo, instead of spectaculo. The version would 
then be ** displays as in a mirror.'* I have followed the reading given by 
Fetrie as well as by Savile. ^ Numb. xvi. 46» 

' The MSS. and printed editions read " Maria," clearly an error of the 
transcribers; see Numb. xiL I?. 



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HENRY OF HUNTJNOD0N8 PREP2LeB. XKVH 

iher^vl reproaches of ShimeiS worrld not allow him-to be 
injured, though he himself was armed, and surrounded by 
his followers in arms, while Shimei was alone and defence- 
less ; and afterwards, when: David was triumphantly restored 
to his throne, he would not suffer punishment to be inflicted 
on his reviler. So, also, in the annals of all people, which 
indeed display the providence of God, clemency, munifi- 
cence, honesty, circumspection, and the like, with their 
opposites, not only provoke- believers to what is good, and 
<ieter them from evil, but ev«n attract worldly men to good- 
ness, and arm them against wickedness. 

History brings the past to the view, as if it were present, 
And enables us to judge of the future by picturing to our- 
selves the past. Besides, the knowledge o€ former events 
has this further pre-eminence, that it forms a main distinc- 
tion between brutes and rational creatures. For brutes, 
whether they be men or beasts, neither know, nor wish to 
know, whence tliey com«, nor their own origin, nor the 
annals and revolutions of the country they inhabit. Of the 
two, I consider men in this brutal state to be the worst, 
because what is natural in ther case of beasts, is the lot of 
men from their own want of sense ; and what beasts could 
not acquire if they would, such men will not though they 
could. But enough of these, whose life and death are 
alike consigned to everlasting oblivion. 

With such reflections, and in obedience to yoin* com- 
mands, most excellent prelate, I have undertaken to arrange 
in order the antiquities and history of this kingdom and 
nation, of which you are the most distinguished ornament. 
At your suggestion, also, I have followed, as far as possible, 
the Ecclesiastical History of the venerable Bede, making 
extracts, also, from other authors, with compilations from 
the chronicles preserved in antient libraries. Thus, I have 
brought down the course of past events to times within 
our own knowledge and observation. The attentive reader 
will learn in this work both what he ought to imitate, and 
what he ought to eschew ; and if he becomes the better for 
this imitation and this avoidance, that is the fruit of my 
labours which I most desire ; and, in truth, the direct path 
of history frequently leads to moral improvement. But, as 

* 1 Kings ii. 8. 



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XXVIU HENRY OF HUNTINGDON S PHEFACE. 

we undertake nothing without imploring divine assistance, 
/ let us commence by invoking God's holy name : — 

Prostrate beneath the terrors of thy frown. 
Some, till they fill their cup of crime, remain, 
Some, with its bitter dregs, thy vengeance drain. 
The thoughts of kings and nations fluctnate, 
Thou, in thy wisdom, rulest all their state, 
Inflicting evil, as the prophet sings *, 
And wafting blessings upon angels* wings, 
When such the pleasure of thy righteous will ; 
Thou self-existent, dread unchangeable. 
From whom, by whom, and in whom all things are ! 
Creatob, Lord and shepherd, king of kings, 
Beginning, source, and growth, and end of things. 
Fountain of light, whence heavenly radiance flows. 
My work inspire, and guide it to its close ; 
My work, which tells the marvels of thy hand. 
Thyself our Father, in our father s land. 
Thou, by whose counsels and whose mighty aid. 
Great in thy counsels, secret or display'd, 
Eealms are exalted, or again brought down. 

And thou, exalted prelate, Bngland's pride, 

Our country's father, and our monarch's guide, 

What I have well performed, in grace approve. 

Where I have erred, correct me in thy love. 

See here how nations prosper, realms decay. 

And draw the moral for the future day. ' 

Mark, holy father, how their power arose. 

Their wealth, their fame, their triumphs o'er their foes, 

Mark how in nothing all such glories close. 

* Tsa. xiv. 7. 



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HENET OF HUNTINGDOFS 

HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH. 



BOOK 1.1 



Bbttain is truly an island of the utmost fertility, abounding 
in com and firuit trees, which are nourished by perenniid 
streams. It is diversified by woods, sheltering birds and 
beasts of chace, affording merry sport to the hunter. Wild 
fowl of all sorts are exceedingly plentiful, both those which 
are peculiar to the land and those which frequent the 
water, whether the rivers or the seaw Moreover, tiie island 
is remarkably adapted for feeding cattle and beasts of bm*- 
then ; insomuch tiiat Solinus remarks that *' in some parts 
of Britain the herbage of the meadows is so luxuriant that 
unless the cattle are shifted to poorer pasture there is risk 
of their suffering from surfeit." The never-failing springs 
feed rivers abounding in fish. Salmon and eels, especially, 
are very plentiful. Herrings are taken on the coasts, as 
well as oysters and other kinds of shell-fish. Among these 
are the muscles, which produce beautiful pearls, of a great 

' Henry of Huntingdon, in this First Book, after giving a general descrip- 
tion of Britain, and some slight account^ mostly fabulous^ of its early history, 
embraces the period from the invasion of Julius Caesar to the final abandon- 
ment of the province by the Eomans in the tiqie of Theodosius II. But 
this Book is rather an epitome of the lives and characters of the Roman em- 
perors, than a narrative of events in British, or Boman-British history. His 
principal authorities for the former are Eutropius, and the Epitome of Aure- 
lius Victor ; but Bede's Ecclesiastical History furnishes the staple of his nar- 
rative ; and he also draws largely from the history of the Britons attributed 
te N^jmius — by some to Gildas ; and he has also interwoven in his history 
information derived from other sources which cannot now be traced. 

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2 HENRY OP HUNTINGDON. [BOOK I. 

variety of colours, red, purple, violet, and emerald ; princi- 
pally, however, white. Nor are the cockles wanting from 
which a scarlet dye is made, whose exquisite tint does not 
fade by exposure either to the sim or rain ; the older it is 
the brighter the colour becomes. Dolphins and whales are 
also caught, as Juvenal saya^ >-^ 

" Far as the giant whalei of Britain's sea 
Bxoecd the ^Ifibin." 

Britain is also rich in metallic veins of iron, tin, and lead. 
Some of these contain silver also, though not so commonly; 
silver, however, is received from the neighbouring parts of 
Germany, with which an extensive commerce is carried on 
by the Rhine in the abundant produce of fish and meat, as 
well as of fine wool and fat cattle which Britain supplies, 
so that money appears to be more plentiful there ihai in 
Germany itself, and all the coins introduced ioto Britain by 
this traffic are of pure silver. Britain, also, fomishes large 
quantities of very excellent jet, of a black aoid brilliaDt hue. 
Eenda*ed spaxMing by fire, it drives away serpents ; when 
it becomes heated by friction substances adhere to it, as 
they do to ambar. The island contains both salt^i^rings 
and hot-springs, tibe streams from which SYq)ply baths 
aceommodatea to the 8q[>arate use of persons of every age 
and of both sexes. "For water," as St Basil observes^ 
" acquires the quality of heat by running over certain me- 
tals, so that not only it becomes warm, but even scalding 
hot." 

This celebrated island, formerly called Albion, afterwards 
Britain, and now Skigland, extends between the ncfrih and 
the west 800 miles in length and 200 in breadtia, except 
where the jutting out of some of its bolder promontories 
expands its breadth. Including these, its complete circuit 
reaches 4875 miles*. Britain has Germany and Denmark 
on the east, Ireland on the west, and Belgic-Gaul on the 
south. The first plafce which presents itself to tliose who 
cross the sea from the coast of Gaul is called Butubi-portus^ 

» Sat X. T. 14. 

^ Bede, from whose history this deseripfioii of Britain is partially hat' 
rowed, makes the dreait of the island 8675 miles, S«e vol i of this 
series, p. 4, 



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BOOK 1.] DBSCSimOlI OF BBIXIIH. S 

a tity whose nune ihe Engtii^ h«ve eomq>ted into Bqpta- 
oeet^^. The di&rtaiice across the sea ^com Gesfiorielun^ a 
town helangiDg to ihe tribe of the Moriia, and Ihe nearest 
point firom which the passage can be made is 60 miles, or, 
acoordiBg to seme writers, 450 fiirlongs. Se^ie-Gaul de- 
rived its name from Beluaei, fcmnerlj a flonri^ing city of 
that part of CraoL It appears that the province is now 
divided into two parts, one of which is called Ponthicn, 
sgkd the other, where the Normans, a powerful and foreign 
race, are settled, Normandy. To the north of Britain^ 
whfise it is exposed to the open and bonndless ocean, lie 
the Orkney Isknds, the farthest of which is called Thiile% 
as it is said : — 

f* Bv'n ntmost Thtile liall thy pow*r obey.*** 

Britain n, indeed, sui ' rotia ded by a mmtber of islands^ 
threei of which are greater than the Test first, we have the 
Orkneys, fdready mentioned ; next, tiie Isle of Man, which 
lies in the mid^ of the sea, between Biitain and Jh'dand ; 
and third, the Isle oi Wicht, which is situated to the south, 
ever i^ainst Hie Normans and the Armoiicatis, who aie now 
edkd Bretons. Tkaa it was said in an a»»«oit discourse, 
^vhere it treated of judges and rulers, ''He shall judge 
Britain with her tiiree iskuods." Britain was formerly 
famous for ^ cities, wliich, as well as innnmeraible eastles» 
were vrell fortified with walk and towers, and with gaiea 
seeored by strong lodes. The names of these cities in 
^e British kmgnage were Kair-Ebraiic, York; £air-Chent» 
Canterbmy ; Kair-^^kxrangon, Worcester ; Sair-Lund^ie, 
London; E^-Legion, Leicester; Eair-GcUon, Colchester; 
Kair-Okm, Gloucester; £aur-Cei, Chichester; Kair*Bristou« 
[Bristol;] Xair-Ceri, Cirencester; Eaix^Ouent, Winchester ; 
Kair-Grant, Grantchester, now called Cambridge ; and 

a -* • 



^ The aaeicBis ttppeu to lunre had no tettaan idea of the situation of 
what thej called Thxie, The nane leema to hare been yarioualy attributed 
to the fiurdiest ishoid in the North Sea, vnknown with any certainty firom 
tile impecfectgeegraphtcal knowledge of thoae legions. Some modem writen 
hsve djaeorered Tbale in TheUe-marken, one of the western districts of 
Jlerway. 

* Qwrg. 1. 80. 

B $3 



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4 HENBY OF HUNTINGDOK. [BOOK I. 

Kair-Lion, which we call Carlisle. Kair-Dauri is Dor- 
chester; IQdr-Dorm, Dormchester, a town on the river 
Nen, in Huntingdonshire, which is entirely destroyed; 
Kair-Loitchoit is Lincoln; Kair-Merdin still retains its 
former name [Carmarthen]. There were also Kair-Guor- 
con, Kair-Cucerat, Kair-Guortigem, Kair-Umac, Kair-Cele- 
mion, Kair-Meguaid, Kair-Licelid ; Kair-Peris, that is, 
Porchester ; and Kair-Legion, which was the seat of an arch- 
bishop in the time of the Britons, but now there are only 
the remains of its walls on the bank of the river Usk, not 
far from its confluence with the Severn ^ Besides these 
there were Kair-Draiton, Kair-Mercipit, and Kair-Segent, on 
the Thames, not far from Beading, and which the Saxons 
called Silchester. These were the names of the cities in 
the times of the Romans and Britons-. 

Since the beginning of history there have been five in- 
flictions of the Divine wrath on the people of Britain ; the 
visitations of Providence falling on the faithful, as well 
as its judgments on unbelievers. The first was by the 
Romans, who conquered Britain, but after a time withdrew 
from the island. The second was by the Scots and Picts, 
who grievously harassed it by hostile inroads, but never suc- 
ceeded in gaining permanent possession. The third was 
by the Angles, who completely subjugated and occupied the 
country. The fourth was by the Danes, who established 
themselves on the soil by successftd wars, but afterwards 
disappeared and were lost. The fifth was by the Normans, 
who conquered all Britain, and still hold the EngUsh in 
subjection. When the Saxons had subjugated the country 
they divided it into seven kingdoms, to which they gave 
names of their own selection. Their first kingdom was 
called Kent ; 2, Sussex, in which Chichester is situated ; 

* There are still considerable remains of the walls of Carlcon, probably 
much in the same state as they were in the time of our Archdeacon of Hon- 
tingdon. The discovery of some tesselated pavements have authenticated 
its claims to having been a Roman station — ^the Isca Silurum of the second 
Augustan legion ; whence its Roman-British name — the city of the legion. 

^ Henry of Huntingdon has taken this catalogue of ancient British cities, 
for the most part, from Nennius, omitting three — Kair-Manch-guid, Eair- 
Pensavelcoyt, and Eair-Guentwig ; but adding to the list of Nennius^ Eair- 
Glou, Eair-Oeri, Eair-Merdin, Eair-Dorm, and Eair-Cei. The three first 
of these are found also in Mark the Anchorite. 



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BOOK I.] THE HEFTABCHY. fi 

3, Wessex, of which the capital was Wilton, now given to 
the monks : "V^inchester, SaJisbury, and several other cities 
were in this kingdom ; 4, Essex, which did not long remain 
independent, but became subject to other kingdoms; 6, 
East Anglia, which contained the counties of Norfolk and 
Suffolk ; 6, Mercia, in which was Lincoln and several other 
cities; 7, Northimibria, of which the capital was York. 
Afterwards, when the kings of Wessex acquired the ascen- 
dancy over the rest, and established a monarchy throughout 
the island, they divided it into 37 coimties, which, though 
their situations and names are well-known to those who 
inhabit them, it may be worth the trouble to describe. For 
it may chance, perhaps, that as the names of the cities we 
have just enumerated, famous as they once were, are now 
considered barbarous and turned into derision, so also, in 
the lapse of time, those which are now very well-known 
may pass out of memory and become the subject of doubt 
Kent, then, is the first coimty, in which are the sees of the 
Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Kochester. 
The second is Sussex, in which is the bishopric of Chi- 
chester. The third is Surry. The fourth is Hampshire, 
in which is the see of Winchester. The fifth is Berkshire. 
The sixth is Wiltshire, in which is the bishopric of Salis- 
bury. The seventh is Dorset The eighth is Somerset in 
which is the bishopric of Bath, or Acemancester. The 
ninth is Devonshire, in which is the see of Exeter. The 
tenth, Cornwall ; the eleventh, Essex ; the twelfth, Middle- 
sex, in which is the see of London. The thirteenth, Suf- 
folk; the fourteenth, Norfolk, in which is the see of 
Norwich. The fifteenth is Cambridgeshire, in which is the 
see of Ely. The sixteenth is Lincolnshire, of which the 
capital city is Lincoln, and to which are subject seven 
other counties, viz., Leicester, Hampton, Himtingdon. 
Hertford, Bedford, Buckingham, and Oxford ; for the great 
bishopric of Lincoln extends fi:om the Humber to the 
Thames. The twenty-fourth is Gloucestershire ; the twenty- 
fifth is Worcestershire, in which is the see of Worcester. 
The twenty-sixth is Herefordshire, in which is the see of 
Hereford. The twenty-seventh is Salop ; the twenty-eighth, 
Cheshire, in which is the bishopric of Chester^ ; the twenty- 

' The feat o tbis bishopric, which Peter transferred to Chester, about ▲.!>. 
1075> was afterwards restored to Litchfield. 



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6 HENET OF HtnmNGDON. [BOOK i. 

mnth is Warwick ; the ihirtiedi, Stafford. After the tibir- 
tieth, the first is Derby ; the seooikl, Nottingham ; the 
^imd, Yorkshh^, in -which is the arehbisfaoprie of Yoric. 
The fourtii is Northumbeiiand, over whidi presides the 
Bishop of Durham. The fifth is that district in which ihe 
new^ bish(^ric of Carlisle is established. Comities are 
called, in English, ^lires. At the present time, therefore, 
England can boast of having seventeen bishoprics ; but it 
oontams many more cities than such as are bish<^' sees« 
8udi as Gloucester, Leicester, Oxford, and many others 
which have no bishops. In the western part of the isknd, 
which is called Wales, there »re three bishoprics : one at 
Bt. Bavid*s, another at Bangor, and the tiiird at Glamor- 
gan^ ; but these are sees witiKmt ciUes, by reason of the 
desolation of Wales, the only part of the island retained by 
the Britons after the Saxon conquest. In our times the 
Bishop of St David's receives fix)m the Pope the paUium, 
which formeriy bdonged to Carleon, but vduch it has now 
lost 

The cities whidi hove been enumeisited have for their 
^tes the pleasant and fertile banks of rivers. Two of these 
rivers are more celebrated than the rest, the Thames and 
the Severn ; the two arms, as it were, of Britain, by "whidi 
it draws to itself the produce of other cotmtries, and exports 
its own. But it is peculiar to ihe English that, being m-och 
tiddicted to foreign travel, they are remaikable for their 
superior style of dress and living, by vdiidi they are easily 
distinguished from other nations. Since, then, Britain 
abounds in so many tMngs (even vineyards floinish in it, 
though they are not conmaon), those who covet its wealth 
must bring their own in exchange for vdiat they receive. In 
whose praise scHne one thus vrrote : — 

" C»ni, milk, «id honey, fuller ^ed their stores 
On Britain's plains, than over all the isles 
Where foaming ocean washes sea-girt shores." 

And a little afterwards : — 

^ OHie see of CarHsle, which was foniided by Henry I. in 1133, in Henry 
of Huntingdon's own time, indaded Cumberland, Westmorland, and part of 
Northnmberland. 

' Tihmdnff, in QlanittigBDahlre^ was the seat of this bishopric fiem the 
earliest times. 



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BOOK I.] ' CUaUTB OF EKGLAlffD* 7 

" Lfsdon f<»r tkips, ami Winchester for wine, 
H«i!e£H>4 for herds, Worcester for com renown'd ; 
Bath for its waters, Salisbiuy for the chase; 
For fishes, Canterbury ; Toric for its woods ; . 
Exeter beasts its rich metallie ores. 
JNanow die sea 'tween Chidiester md Fcaace, 
While Dorthem Durham fronts the surging waveg 
On which old Norway launched her conq'ring sons. 
Ib grace proud Lincoln's children foremost stand^ 
Ely's high tow'rs the wide champaign command, 
Beehester rises bright on Medway's winding strand." 

Nor must it be omitted that iSne climate of Britain is very 
temperate, and healthy to its inhabitants ; for since it lies 
between the nwrth and the west, the cold of the north is 
tempered by the influence of the sun in its course westward. 
The malady called St Anthony's Fire never afflicts the 
natives, whik diseased persons brought over from Gaul 
obtain a cure. The island lies so near the North Pole, the 
ni^ts are so light in summer that at midnight it is often 
doubtful to the beholders whether the evening twilight still 
remains, or daybreak has already commenced, so short is 
the period befc^e the sim's retmn from having passed un- 
daneath the northern re^ons to appear again in the east. 
For this reason the da3rs are of great length in summer, as, 
on the contrary, ihe nights are in winter, the days and 
ni^ts during the alternate seasons being each only six 
hours long; while in Armenia, Macedonia, and Italy, the 
longest day or ni^t is of fifteen hours, the shortest of 
nine. 

There are four things in England which are very remark- 
able. One is that tlie winds issue with such great violence 
from certain caverns in a mountain called the Peak^, that 
it ejects matters thrown into them, and whirling them about 
in the air carries them to a great distance. The second is 
at Stonehenge, where stones of extraordinary dimensions 
are raised as columns, and others are fixed above, like lin- 
tels of immense portals ; and no one has been able to dis- 
cover by what mechanism such vast masses of stone were 
^leyateo, nor for what purpose they were designed. The 

* In Derbyshire. 



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8 HENEY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK Z. 

third is at Chedder-hole^, where there is a cavern which 
many persons have entered, and have traversed a great 
distance under groimd, crossing subterraneous streams, 
without finding any end of the cavern. The foiu'th wonder 
is this, that in sorhe parts of the country the rain is seen to 
gather about the tops of the hills, and forthwith to fall on 
file plains. 

So important was the safety of Britain to its loyal people 
that, imder royal authority, they constructed four great 
highways fi:om one end of the island to the other, as mili- 
tary roads, by which they might meet any hostile invasion. 
The first runs fi'om west to east, and is called Ichenild. 
The second runs fi-om south to north, and is called Er- 
ninge Strate^. The third crosses the island firom Dover to 
Chester, in a direction from south-east to north-west, and is 
called Watling Street The fourth, which is longer than 
the others, commences in Caithness, and terminates in Tot- 
ness, extending fi:om the borders of Cornwall to the extre- 
mity of Scotland ; this road runs diagonally from south- 
west to north-east, passing by Lincoln, and is called the 
Foss-way. These are the four principal highways of Britain, 
which are noble and useful works, founded by the edicts of 
kings, and maintained by venerated laws. 

Five languages are spoken in Britain ; those of the Bri- 
tons, the Angles, the Scots, the Picts, and the Eomans. 
Of these the Latin has, by the study of the Holy Scriptures, 
become common to all. The Picts ^, however, have entirely 

' Wookey Hole, in Cheddar ClifiSs, under the Mendip Hills^ in Somerset- 
shire. 

* Or Ermeninge Street 

3 On the origin of the Picts see toI. i. of this series, p. 5. It is to be 
observed, that Henry of Huntingdon does not notice the Norsk or Danish 
among the languages commonly spoken in Britain, though at least one-third 
of England was colonized by Norwegians and Danes, and their language, a 
cognate dialect, indeed, of the Anglo-Saxon, has left traces of its distinct cha- 
racter, in some districts, even to the present day, which must have been still 
more rifs in the times of the Archdeacon. See Worsaae's " Danes in Ens- 
land," and an Essay on the same subject in the Jubilee Edition of King Al- 
fred's works. Henry of Huntingdon implicitly copies Bede, without any 
reference to the further element which was added to the languages spoken in 
Britain after the time of his author. 



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BOOK I.J ORIGIN OF THE BEITONS. 9 

disappeared, and their language is extinct, so that the ac- 
counts given of this people by ancient writers seem almost 
fabulous. "\^Tio will not mark the difference between the 
devotion to heavenly and the pursuit of earthly things, 
when he reflects that not only the kings and chiefe, but &e 
whole race of this heathen people have utterly perished; 
and that all memory of them, and, what is more wonderful, 
their very langus^e, the gift of God in the origin of their 
nation, is quite lost. 

Let what we have thus far written, though of many things 
we have treated briefly, suffice with regard to the site and 
general characteristics of Britain. We come now to speak 
of the people by whom, and the time at which, the island 
was first inhabited. What we do not find in Bede we 
borrow from other authors \ They tell us that the British 
nation was founded by Dardanus, who was the father of 
Troius. Troius was the father of Priamus and Anchises. 
Anchises was father of ^neas, -^neas of Ascanius, Ascanius 
of Silvius. When the wife of Silvius was pregnant, a sooth- 
sayer predicted that the son she should bring forth would 
slay his father. The soothsayer was put to death for this 
prophecy ; but the son that was bom, and who was called 
Brute, filter a time, while he was playing with boys of his 
own age, struck- his father with an arrow and kiUed him. 
It was done not purposely, but by chance-medley ; where- 
upon Brute, being banished from Italy, came into Gaul. 
There he founded the city of Tours, and having afterwards 
invaded the district of the Armoricans, he passed from 
thence into this island, subjugated its southern regions, 
and called it, after his own name, Britain. Some writers, 
however, affirm that when Brute reigned in Britain, Eli, 
the high-priest, was judge of Israel, and Posthumus or 
Silvius, son of Mneas, reigned among the Latins. Brute 
was his grandson. After an interval of 80 years, it hap- 
pened that the Picts, a Scythian race, having embarked on 
the ocean, were driven by *the winds round the coast of 
Britain, till at length they reached the north of Ireland, 
where, finding the nation of the Scots already in possession, 

' This £Etbuloiu account of the origin of the Britons is taken from Nen- 
niiii, iii. v. 



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10 WaSI OF HUliTDIQ]X»f. [BOOX J. 

diej begged to be allowed to settle also, but fsuled in ob- 
tatniiig their request For the Scots said, '*This island 
^ould not contain us both, but we know that there is 
another idand not &r from ours, to the eastward, whi<^ 
ire can see at a distance when the days are clearer than 
ordinary. If you will go there you will be able to establish 
yours^res ; and if you meet wkh opposition we will come 
to your asststanee." The Hots, therefore^ crossing over to 
Britain, began to colonize the northern parts of the island ; 
for the Britons were already settled in the south. The 
Plots hairing no wires asked them of the Scots, who con- 
sulted to grant them upon the sole condition that wh^i 
any uncertainty arose in state affairs they should elect a 
king irom the royal race in the female line rather thaa in 
the male ; which custom, it appears, is maintained among 
^e Picts to the present day. Such, then, are the traditions 
wMdi we find in old writers concerning the amval o£ the 
Britons in that part of ihe worid whidi is called Britain, as 
well as the arrival of the Picts in the same island. And 
though it is an island, being very extensive, its excellence 
is not diminished on that account; when, in truth, the 
wh<de eartji is itself an island. But as it is a common 
saying, "rain is mingled withi wind, and laughter with 
«ighs," the preeminent wealth and advantages of England 
have excited the envy and cupidity of neighbouring nadonB. 
It has, therefore, been very frequently invaded, and often 
subdued. Thus, in process of time, the Scots also migrated 
from Ireland into Britain, imder their chief Beuda, and 
either by fair means, or by force of arms, obtained posses- 
sion of that part of the countiy belonging to the Picts 
which these new settlers still occupy. They are called 
Bal^eudins, from ihe name <^ their dbief ; Dal, in their 
language, signifying la portion or district. This leads me to 
say something witii regard to Ireland, for though, properly, 
it is not my subject, it is nearly connected with it. May 
what I sliall add be to the honour of Almighty God 1 

Next to Britain, Ireland is the jQnest isltmd in the world ; 
and, indeed, though it is inferior to Britain in wealth, it 
greatly surpasses it in the salubrity and serenity of its 
<^imate, arising from the nature of its position* For while 
it is less extended towards the north, it stretches mUfih 



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liOOK I.] PESOBIPTIOlff OF IBELAHD. 11 

isrther than Britain towards the northern eodfit of Spain, 
$n>m which, however, a wide sea divides it. In Ireland 
«now seldom or never lies on the ground more than three 
tiays; no man there, on aeconnt of winter, either makes 
hay in the susmier, or erects buildings to shelter his cattle. 
•No reptiles aie seai there: no serpent can exist; for 
though serpents have heen d^ten earned there &om Bri- 
tain, when the ship s^pproaches the shore, as soon as th^ 
breathe the air wafted irom the land they instantly die. 
On the odier hand, almost all the products oi the island 
^are antidotes to poison. In short, we have known persons 
bitten by serpents, to whom the scrapings of the leaves <rf 
books bronght from Ireland, immersed in water, having 
been given to drink, the potion immedifitely absorbed the 
Tenom, which was spreading tbrou^out the body, and 
allayed the swelling. Gt>d hath theref<»re endowed the 
island with this wondeiM gift, and has appointed a multi- 
tude of the saints for its protection. Moreover, He has 
enridied it with milk and honey ; vineyards are not want- 
ing, and it abounds with fish and fowl, deer and goats. 
li^ is truly the countiy of the Soots ; but if any one is 
desorous <^ knowing the time when it was first inhabited, 
Ihough I find nothmg about it in Venerable Bede, the 
following is the account given by another writer. At the 
time ih^ Egyptians were drowned in the Bed Sea, the sur- 
vivors banished from among them a certain nobleman 
named Scyticus, that he mi^t not acquire the dominion 
over them. The banished man having wand^ed for some 
time in Africa, at last came vdth his family to the dwellings 
of the Philistiiies, and by the Salt Lake they journeyed 
betwe^i Russicada and the mountains of Syria, and came 
by the Biver Malva, and traversed Mauritania, navigating 
the Tuscan Sea to ihe Pillars of Hercules. Thus they 
arrived in Sp^dn, where they dwelt many years, and their 
posterity multij^d greatly. Thence they came into Ire- 
land, 1200 years after ihe passage of Israel through ihe 
Red Sea. The Britons, however, inhabited Britain before. 
I'or the Britons occupied Britain in the third age of the 
world ; the Scots, Ireland, in the fourth. These accoimts 
are not much to be depended on ; but it is certain that the 
Scots came from Spain to Ireland, and that part of them. 



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12 HENBY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK !• 

migrating from thence to Britain, added a third nation 
there to the Britons and the Picts; for the part which 
remained still speak the same language, and are called 
Navarrese. There is a broad gulf of fiie sea which for- 
merly divided the nation of the Picts from the Britons. 
It runs from the west deep into the country, where stands, 
to the present day, a strongly-fortified city called Alcluith ', 
on the north side of which the Scots, of whom we have 
already spoken, fixed their settlement. 

Julius Caesar was the first of the Romans who invaded 
Britain, sixty years before the incarnation of our Lord^, 
and in the year 693 after the building of Rome. He was 
joined in his consulship with Lucius Bibulus, and, having 
subjugated the Germans and JGauls, who were then parted 
by the river Rhine, he came into the country of the Morini, 
from which is the shortest passage to Britain. Here he 
caused eighty ships /of burthen and light galleys to be 
equipped, and transported his legions into Britain. Things 
did not at first turn out according to his expectation ; for, 
when disembarking, he had to encounter an attack from the 
Britons much severer than he had expected, and, finding his 
force outnmnbered by a foe whom he had greatly under- 
rated, he was compelled to re-embark his troops. On his 
return to Gaul he met with a violent storm, in which he 
lost a considerable part of his fleet, great numbers of his 
soldiers, and almost all his horses. Exasperated at his ill 
success, having estabUshed his legions in winter quarters, 
he caused six hundred ships of both sorts to be fitted out 
[B.C. 54], and early in the spring sailed again for Britain with 
his whole force. But, whUe he marched his army against 
the enemy, his fleet lying at anchor was assailed by a 
furious tempest, which either dashed the ships against 
each other, or drove them on shore as wrecks. Forty of the 
ships were lost; the rest were after some time, and with 
great difficulty, repaired. The consummate general, there- 
fore, seeing all hopes of retreat cut off, the more urgently 

^ Dunbarton. 

' This date, borrowed from Bede, is incorrect, like many others of both 
authors. It is now generally agreed that Cssar's second and successfnl in- 
vasion of Britain was effected B.O. 54, u.o. 700. The abortive expedition 
here mentioned took pkce the summer before. 



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B.C. 54] INVASION OF JULIUS CiESAB. 13 

roused the spirit of his troops, and, while he was in the act 
of exhorting them, hattle was joined with the enemy. It 
was fought on hoth sides witii the greatest ardom-, the 
Komans having no hope of a retreat, the Britons an assured 
hope of conquering as they had done before. Labienus, 
the tribune, who led the van of the Eoman army against 
the division of Dolobellus, who was the lieutenant of the 
British king, charged it with such vigour that it was routed, 
put to flight, and pursued. But the main body of the royal 
anny was stationed between the columns of GsBsar and 
Labienus. It was commanded by Belinus, the brother of 
the king Cassibelaun, and the son of Lud\ a very brave 
king, who had gained possession of many islands of the 
sea by the success of his arms. The royal army was 
therefore able to surround the cavalry of lllabienus, who 
was slain with all his troops. And now Julius per- 
ceiving his ill fortune and being sensible that to avoid 
greater disaster he must have recourse to manoeuvring, 
instead of direct attacks, he feigned a retreat. The Britons 
pursued the retiring army and slew great numbers, but 
were checked by a wood into which the Romans threw 
themselves. Preparing there for a third attack, Csesar thus 
exhorted his troops : — 

"Invincible fellow soldiers, who have braved the perils of 
the sea and the toils of marches and battles by land, and 
have been daunted neither by the fierce onset of the Gauls, 
nor the resolute courage of ike German nations, think not 
that I suppose any words of mine can add to that disci- 
plined courage which is already perfect, and which, tried in 
so many fields, can neither be added to nor diminished : 
that valour, I say, which has always shone brightest when 
danger was greatest, and, while others have despaired, has 
led you exultingly onward to certain victory. I need not 
recall to your minds what is fixed in your own memories, 
and in those of all nations, how often, seemingly conquered, 
we have conquered our conquerors ; and, not disheartened 
by our disasters, have become braver than the brave by 
whom we have been repulsed. Courage, when provoked, 
becomes desperate. Now then, if you have any regard for 

' According to Geoffrey of MonmoutB, Lud was brother of Cassibelaun. 



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14 HSNET OF HUNIIN€a>ON. [BOOK !• 

the glory of the Boman name, now is the time to exhibit 
that militairy discipline in whi^ you have been perfectly 
trained, and which you lu»re always perfectly maintained, in 
its hi^iest perfection in t^s time of our utmost need* 
"For myself, of two issues I have inreyocaUy chosen, either 
to conquer, whidi is gionous^ or to die fer our country, 
which is in the power of every man. Flight is only the 
refine of cowards. Let Ihose then asratmg you who are of 
the same mind with myself hold up their invincible right 
hands, and let our enennes be aatonished to find us reani- 
mated by our repulses, and recruited by our losses."^ 

Having thus spoken he extmded his rig^t hand, and the 
whole army with loud shoots raised their hands to heaven, 
and thus cheering began the battle. Then it was that, the 
legions being skilfully disposed, the porseveiing obstinacy 
with which they foi^ht di8|dayed the superiority of the 
Boman discipline. Content to stand on their defence,, 
while the Britons eaiiaosted themsdves by r^>eated attacks, 
the troops of 0«sar were fresh when the islanders had 
lost their vigour. Victory was on the side of the Bomans, 
though not without severe loss. From thence Osesar 
marched to the river Thames. A large body of the enemy 
had posted themselves on the further side of the river under 
the command of Cassibelann, who had planted ^larp stakes 
in the river bank and in the water where it was crossed by 
a ford'. The remains of these stakes are to be seen at the 
present day ; they appear to be about the thickness of & 
man's thigh, and, being i^kxI with lead, renudn immovably 
fixed in the bed of the river. This being discovered, and 
avoided by the Bomans, &ey attacked the barbarians, who, 
not being able to stand the shock of the legions, retired 
into the woods, firom the shelter of which they grievously 
galled the Bomans by repeated sallies. The strongly-forti- 
fied city of Tiinovantum^ surrendered to Csesar, under its 
governor Androgens, delivering to him seventy hostages. 

^ Being nmble to dkeoTer wliere tlM AxchdeMoii foimd the neord of this 
itiztiag addrefli, we may attribute it to Us own inTentioii, in imitation of 
the speeches which both poets and historians have put into the mouths of 
their heroes on similar occasions. 

^ This ford of the Thames is supposed to have been near Bichmond. 

' Supposed to be Loadoa* 



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Bx. 54-44.] JULITJS osaEiiB m^iHDJuam. 1ft 

!bi like mmmer several other towns entered mto treaties 
\tith the iiomans, and supplied guides by ipdiose aid Oiesar 
penetrated to the oapit^id city of Casaibelaon, covered oq 
botii sides by morasses and further protected by thiek 
woods, while it was stored witii abundant supplies. The 
city was t£^en after an obstinate defence^. 

EyentuaOy, Geesar returning into Gaul, and being dis-^ 
tracted by the cares of wars whidi beset him <m eT^ side^ 
withdrew from Britain the legicms whidi he had plfteed in. 
wmter quarters, in order that they might accompany him tc^ 
B<Hne : a &ct to which Lucan releis >— 

" The fire&^orn Britons toM tlieir yellow liair. 
No longer cnrb'd by stationary camps.*'' 

Returning with regret to Rome, he ordered the fifth 
month to be called July in honour of his own name. He 
^i^ks afterwards treaeheronsly assassinated in the senate- 
house on the Ides of March. As we ha^ve to i^ak of 
Ceesar and his successors who ruled Bsiton to ihe time <^ 
Martian, who was the f orty«£»urtii in succession from Julius 
Cffisar, we hare^ no wish to diminish their r^iown. We 
should hesitate to compare them in point of morals to our 
own Christian princes, while it woc^ be a doome that the 
latter should be inferior. 

The panegyrick of Sdinus on Julius CfiBsar is just: 
"As much as Sergius and SisinniuSrthe bravest of soldiers,. 

■ There seems to be little doubt Hbai Yernlsan, or St AlbMU, was the- 
capital of Oassibelaun. 

> Lucan's Fbarsalia, Book L L 402. Hemy «f Hsntiigdoa hmi substi- 
tuted Britanni for Buteni, without any authority, which I have been able to 
discorer. Some hare read SnSri, considering the reading justified by the 
descriptive ^pelhition, flavi ; but the epithet " yellow-ha£ed " was applied, 
sot only to the Germans, but to all tiie northern nations. Lucan hhnse^ 
dina designates the Britons : — 

^ celsoa ut Gallia conns 
Nobilis, «t flavia sefuctetw mirta Britaxuus.*' 

J^kan, ill. 78. 

In ike passage quoted by the Afchdeaeon, Boteni is eTideatiy the tra« 
nading, for the context nnpies larious Gaulish tribes; those of the YosgeSy 
the I&gones, about Langres, and the Isarse, on the Isere. Then the 
Buteni, a people of Narbonese Gaul, afterwards le BoTeigoe, are mentioned ; 
Mowed by refsfenee to the tribes on the Atar, new L'Aube, in Languedoe, 
and the Yar in Proyence. 



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16 HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK I. 

outshone all other soldiers, so much did CflBsar excel aU other 
generals, nay, other men of all times. In the wars carried on 
under his command, 1 , 1 92,000 of the enemy were slain. How 
many were slain in the civil wars he was reluctant to record. 
He fought fifty-two pitched battles ; being the only general 
who exceeded Marcus Marcellinus, who fought thirty-nine. 
No one wrote more rapidly, no one read with greater facility ; 
he was able to dictate four letters at one and the same time. 
So great was his excellence that those whom he conquered 
by his arms, he conquered yet more by his clemency. 

Augustus, succeeding Julius Caesar, obtained the empire 
of the whole world ; and received tribute fi:om Britain as 
well as from his other don^inions, as Virgil remarks : — 

" Embroidered Britons lift the purple screen." ' 

This he did in the forty-second year of his reign, when the true 
Light shone upon the world, and all kingdoms and islands, 
before over-shadowed with darkness, were taught that there is 
One only God, and saw the image of Him that created them. 
When Augustus had reigned My-five years and a half, he 
paid the debt of nature. Eutropius thus p«negyrizes him : 
" Besides the civil wars, in which he was always victorious, 
Augustus subdued Armenia, Egypt, Galatia, Cantabria, 

* Geor. iii. 25. The sense is not very clear, and I have therefore ren- 
dered the words literally, in preference to offering any gloss npon it 
Dryden thus paraphrases it : — 

** When the prond theatres disclose the scene 
Which interwoven Britons seem to raise. 
And show the trinniphs which their shame displays.*' 

Heyne conjectures that allusion is made to the curtain of the theatre on 
which were pictured, embroidered, or interwoven, the tall and gaunt forms 
of British captives, represented in the act of rising from the ground and lifting 
the curtain. However this may be, the quotation from the Georgics, which 
Henry of Huntingdon borrows from Nennius, feils of proving the subjection 
of the Britons in the time of Augustus. We find no authority for the state- 
ment, that this emperor received tribute from Britain, except a passage in 
the De Rebus Gelicis of Jomandes, the Goth, a work of the sixth century, in 
which he made use of the now lost Ecclesiastical History of Cassiodorus, who 
was governor of Sicily in the same century — ^no authorities whatever against 
the silence of contemporary classical authors. Dion Cassius tells us, that 
Augustus came into Gaul with the intention of invading Britain, as the 
Britons refused to enter into a treaty with him, but was prevented by the 
revolt of some recently-subdued tribes of Gaul. 



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B.C. 43.] AUGUSTUS. — ^TIBEEIUS. 17 

Dalmatia, Pannonia, Aquitania, Ulyricum, Khetimn, tho 
Vindelici, the Salassi, Pontus, and Cappadocia. He so 
completely reduced the Dacians and Germans, that he 
transported 400,000 captives of their race into Gaul, where 
he settled them on the ftirther bank of the Rhine. The 
Persians gave him hostages, which they had never done 
before, restoring the standards taken from Crassus. He 
was naild and gracious, affable in spirit, and handsome in 
person ; his eyes, particularly, were beautiM. Clement to 
his subjects, he so treated his friends that he almost raised 
them to a level with himself. He engaged in war with no 
nation but upon just grounds, esteeming triumphs foimded 
upon unfounded pretences, worthless. He was so loved by fo- 
reign and even barbarous peoples, that in some instances their 
kings spontaneously came to Rome to do him homage; 
others, as Juba and Herod, founded cities to his honour. 
He devoted some part of every day to reading, writing, and 
elocution. He was sparing in his diet, patient of rebuke, 
and placable to conspirators. He found Rome built of 
bricks, he left it of mai'ble." 

Tiberius, th* step-son of Augustus, succeeded him in 
the empire, which extended over Britain as well as the other 
kingdoms of the world ^. He reigned twenty-three years. 

* There is no autbority for the statement, that Britain formed part of the 
Eoman Empire during the reigns of Angustus and Tiberius. It would be a 
bootless task to correct all Henry of Huntingdon's errors and misstatements, 
in some of which he copies Bede. [See notes to the Eccles. Hist, cc. iii. 
iy. in the present series.} We should not have noticed the present mis- 
statement, but on account of a popular error which attributes ^e conquest 
of Britain to Julius Caesar, and supposes that from his time the island, or 
some part of it, remained in subjection to the Romans. The facts are, that 
in his second and most successful expedition, Caesar was not able, after much 
opposition and one signal defeat, to penetrate fsffther into the country 
than about eighty miles from his place of landing, near Walmer, to Yeru- 
1am, or St Albans, following for the most part the valley of the Thames, 
which river he crossed near Bichmond. London and St Albans were the 
only towns he reduced, and these he abandoned after a few months' 
occupation, withdrawing his whole army from the island, to which he never 
returned. The Britons xecovered their independence, and continued unmo- 
lested under the government of their native kings and chiefs during the 
reigns of Augustus, Tiberius, and Caligula, though the latter menaced them 
with a fresh invasion, which ended in an idle and ridiculous parade. A 





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18 BSSBX <XT HUHTIMOZ>OV. [BOOK I. 

Hie was pmdeut and fortunate in war, aad thus became 
worthy to be the suceessor of Augustus. In literature he 
was highly accomplished, but still more remariuible for 
eloquence, being haf>pi^ in uiq^remeditoted relies than in 
set speeches. Hie was charged with dissembling, inasmuch 
as he assomed indifierence to those he really loved aad 
eourteay to persons he disliked^. 

Caius, sumamed Caligula, ruled the empire of the world 
about &ve years. Claudius, who succeeded him ajd. 6^^ 
jmd u.c. 796, Tisited Britain in the fourth year of his reign, 
and received the submissioii of some lei^lted tribes with- 
otit recourse to arms. He added the Oikoey Ifiknds^ 
already mentioned* to the empire, and, returning to Bome 
after an absfflice of six months, assiuned for himself and 
his son the surname of Eritannicus, yrhkh is given him by 
J^nvenal^:— 

" And Bhow*d, Britannicns, to all that earner 
The womb tiiat bore thee.** 

In this year that grievous famine prevailed in Syi*ia, 
which is recorded by Bt Luke in the Acts«of the Apostles 
to lui^e been ppedioted by A^i^us. In the time of Claudius, 
Fater, the dmf founder of our faith, became bishop of 
Home, which see he filled for twenty- five years, t. e, to the 
last year of l^ero. Vespasian, commissioned by Claudius, 
"went into Gaul, and afterwards to Britain, where he had 
Ihirty-two ^igagements with the enemy, reduced two v^y 

period, thaefiare, of nearly a centary elap«ed before the moi« succesaf bl ia- 
vaiiMi mder fie Emperor Olandku^ firom vinoh the estabUahment of tbe 
Boman dominion in Britain datM. 

^ icnieL Yiotor. 

' The real date of tht expedition of Plautiai^ under Claudiagy was ±J>. 
44, TJ.o. 796. The lame ytta i^on hig general's success, the Es^ror himself 
crossed over to Britain, but only ronained in the isUmd sixteen days. 
This bappened ninety-seren years after Gsesar's abandonment of bis enter- 
prise. Bede says that '* be was the only one either before or after Julius 
-OsBsar, who bad dared to bmd in the island," so that Henry of Huntingdon's 
alory of the '* revolted tribes " seems to be pure invention. 

* ?9iis also is incorrect The Orkneys were not,redaoed till the conquests 
of Agricola under Yespasiaii, and bit sucoessoit reduced the northern parts 
vi Britain to subjection. 

W«T. Sat ri. 124. 



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psfwedvl ixibes, took twenty towns, and added tbe Isle of 
Wi^t to the empire. When Glatidius had reigned thirteen 
yeaxB, h& went the wnof oi his fathers. His charact^ is 
thus sumaoaed isp : ^' The administration of Olaudiiis was 
generally moderate, though in some alOEiirs he aeted in- 
xanxtiously. ^oeesi^ul in wmr, he ediai^d the empice; 
witile in peftee he was ao grackms to his friends, that when 
i^ntlinus^, a general of great eminence who had distin- 
.gsufifaed hknscdf in Britain, celebrated his trimnph, the em- 
pmor marched on his left hand as he s^eended to the 
iCajttloL"* 

Ifero, who leigned thirteen years and ra;tiher more tiian half, 
Ifaough he hid been an active soklier in his youth, lapsed 
into sloth after he had obtained the empire. Hence, besides 
other inimies to the empire, he nearly lost Britain; for 
dau^g hk government two of the greatest cities in the 
island were sacked and ruined ^ Nero perished miserably 
itfae same year in which he- slew Peter and Paxil 

Vespasian, who destroyed Jerusalem, reigned nearly ten 
^fiears ^. It was he who under Olaudius was sent into Britain 
and reduoedthe Isle of Wight to the power of the Eomans. 
Thk island extends from east to west about 30,000 paces ; 
fe»3iL ni^rth to soutli, twelve; and is distant in its eastern 
part six, and in its western twelve, miles from the southern 
xjoast of Badtain. This great man erected a column of the 
jhetght of 107 fe^ The eulogimn of Vespasian is thus 

> For FaoliiiBS, ^0 did not cornxnand in Britaw till the time of Nero, 
lead Plautim. By the victonef of this genend over Cunobeline, the 
southern regions oi Britain were reduced to a Boman proviooe. He was 
anceeeded by Ostorins, the conqueror of Caiadauc, or Caractacus as he was 
«a&ed by the BomaiiB. 

^ ^Ehe suoeesaes (rf Boadkea, Queen of the Iceni, a British tribe, who 
woe natives of Becbyshire, are here alluded to. She is said to have reduced 
to ashes liondon, Colchester, and Veralam, and to have massacred 70,000 
<fi the Romans and their allies. We do not wonder at Henry of Hunting- 
don's imperiect acquaintance with the history of the Boman emperors ; but 
-It » rarprising that he gives so confused an acoount, and collected such few 
^ddents of their transactions in Britain. Now it was that Suetonius Pau- 
linus commanded in Britain. He reduced Mona, and exterminated the 
Druids, and was ultimately successful in recovering the province after the 
losses in the time of Boadicea. 

* Eutrop. vii. 8. 

* The short reigns of Qalba, Otho, and VitelHus, ase not noticed. 

o 2 



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20 HENBY OP HUNTIKODON. [BOOK !• 

faithfully given ^ : ** He conducted his government with great 
moderation, but was inclined to avarice : not, indeed, that he 
raised money by imjust methods, and what he careftilly col- 
lected he spent freely, being especially boimtifiil to those 
who were in need ; so that it would be difficult to name any 
prince whose liberality was at once so great and so just. 
His clemency was such that he was not disposed to inflict 
severer punishment than exile even on those who were 
guilty of treason. He was conqueror of Judsea, Achaia, 
Lycia, Khodes, Byzantium, Samos, Thrace, Cilicia, Coma- 
gene. Injuries and enmities he buried in oblivion; he 
bore patiently the invectives of lawyers and philosophers, 
and was courteous and affable to the senate, the people, and 
all the world." 

Titus, his son, reigned two years and two months, a 
prince endowed with every virtue, so that he was called the 
idol and the darling of the human race. He built the 
amphitheatre of Kome, at the dedication of which five 
thousand wild animals were slain. His panegyric is of the 
highest order^ : " Eloquent as well as brave, of great mode- 
ration, he transacted the business of the law-courts in Latin, 
and wrote poems and tn^edies in Greek. At the siege of 
Jerusalem, serving under his father, he struck down twelve 
of the foremost of the garrison, each with a single arrow. 
At Kome his government was so humane, that he scarcely 
inflicted punishment on any, pardoning tiiose who were 
convicted of conspiracy against his person, and admitting 
them to the same familiarity as before ; so great was his 
kindness and liberality, that when some of his friends 
blamed him for never denying any request, he replied, that 
* no one should depart sad from the presence of the em- 
peror.* He was so much beloved for this singular gracious- 
ness, and so severe was the public grief for his death, that 
all lamented him as if each had lost a private friend. He 
expired at a distance from Rome, and ihe senate receiving 
the intelligence late in the evening thronged into the senate- 
house and paid such a tribute of praise and acknowledgment 
to the memory of the deceased emperor, as they had never 
offered to him when he was alive and among them." 

» Eutrop. viL 18. » Ibid. vii. 14. 



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A.D. 82.] DOMITIAN. — ^TEAJAN. 21 

Domitian, the brother of Titus, reigned fifteen years and 
five months. Next to Nero, he was the most cruel perse- 
cutor of the Christians. Hateful to all, particularly to the 
senate, he brought about his own destruction ^ 

Nerva held the empire of the world little more than a 
year. 

Trajan reigned nineteen years and a half; governing 
Britain, as well as the other provinces, with singular vigour, 
and extending the empire, which since the time of Augustus 
had rather been defended than enlarged. He is the prince 
who for justice' sake plucked out one of his own eyes and 
one of his son's ; and whom St. Gregory does not leave in hell. 
Those who read him will imderstand how perfect was the 
character of the man whom, though a heathen, he would not 
consign to condemnation. Suetonius thus eulogizes him : 
** Trajan, a prince highly accomplished and of exemplary 
courage, conquered Dacia and the country about the Danube, 
together with Armenia, which the Parthians had seized. He 
gave a king to the Albanians, and admitted to his alliance 
the kings of the Iberi, the Sauromati of the Bosphorans, 
the Arabs, the Osroenians, and the Colchians. He sub- 
dued and took possession of the countries of the Gordueni 
and the Marchamedians, with Antemusium, a great pro- 
vince of Persis, Seleucia and Ctesiphon, Babylon and the 
Messeni. He extended his frontier to the borders of India 
and the Red Sea, forming three provinces, Armenia, Assyria, 
and Mesopotamia, with Sie nations who border on Madena. 
Afterwards he reduced Arabia to the condition of a pro- 
vince, and fitted out a fleet on the Red Sea by means of 
which he ravaged the coasts of India. But his mihtary 
glory was excelled by his humanify and moderation ; bring- 
ing himself to the level of all, both at Rome and in the 
provinces, and visiting famiharly his fiiends and the sick. 
He mingled with them on festive occasions, and sat with 
them in the same chariots. No senator received injury 
from him, and though he was liberal to all, his revenue was 



* Our author does not notice the a^irs of Britain during the reigns of 
Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian, in which its complete subjugation was 
effected under Julius Agricola, the greatest and best of the Boman generals 
in Britain^ and who may be considered the founder of British civilization. 



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22 HENBX OF HUimNODOK. [BOOK !,> 

OQgnMBted by no mpistiee. fie cfmkrreH riches and 
honours on those wHh i/vhom he was but slightly acquaintecL 
He embellished the whole empire with pmblic buMiiig8» 
conceding many privileges to the mimioqmlilies ; douii^. 
notdiking that was not gei^e atnd kind, insonmch that during 
his whole reign only a single senator was condemned, md 
that one by the senate itself, without the knowledge of 
Trajan. Thvis tkffoo^out the ^Hoole world be was 1^ ze^ 
presentative of the Deity; bikL there was no homage whidx. 
1^ did not merit, whe^r alire or dead. Among other 
sayings which are attributed to him, the fdlowing is r&» 
markable. When his Mends objeeted to him, thai he 
carried his complaisance to his subjects too hoc, he replied^ 
that ' he wi^ed so to treat private individmls, as emjiczory. 
as he hinraelf^ if in a privaite station, would wiah empecovs 
to treat him.' He was the only one who was buned within 
the city waDs, his bones being collected in a goklen vm^ 
which was d^osited in the forum he buik, under a cokoui 
140 feet in height. His memoiy is still cherished, so that 
even in our age the phrase of the acclamations with whieb 
the emperors are hailed in the senate is, that they be * iortxh 
nate as Augustus, worthy as Tnyan! ' " 

Hajdiimi ruled the wodd twenty-ocie years. He reduced a 
firesh rebellion of the Jews, and having rebuilt Jerusalecn^ 
withheld £rom them permission to visit it. This is his 
character^: *'He was a prince of great moderati(m, azui 
maintained peace during his entire reign. Once only he 
engaged in war, and then by cme of his generals. He made 
a progress through the whole circuit of the Boman world. 
The edifices he built were numerous. He was very eloquent 
in Latin, and learned in Ghredc" 

Antoninus Pius held the empire of the world twenty- 
three years and a half-: *'An upright and exemplary 
prince, he may be compared to Numa Pon^)iliiis, as Trajan 
likened to Bomulus. Severe to none, gracioce to all, he 
wielded his military power with moderation, defending 
rather than extending the provinces. He sought out men 
of the greatest rectitude for the administration of affairs, 
holding the good in honour, recoiling without any bitterness 

^ Eoli^ viii. 8. ^ Ibid. Toi 4. 



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AJ). 162.] lIABCCB.-^lIJBBLniEk ^ 

frauL the evil. He was so Tespeeted by kings in his 
alliance, that they submitted their quarpels to hian, azui 
aee^ted his arbhxatioiii. Munificent to his Mends, he yet 
1^ the tEeasmy rich. His clem^icy gained him the sur- 
name of Pins." 

MaFeus Antenmns YerosS with his brother Aurelius 
liUciiK CommodnS) leigned jomtly ninete^i years and two 
months. The empire had been hi^rto governed by a single 
monaarch. A Parthian war was conducted with admirable 
vakmr and good fortune. Puring their reign, Eleutherius 
being the pontiff who gov^ned the Boman Church, Luciu& 
the British, king impk)red him by letter to take measures 
&>r his cffiOLvecnon ta Christianity. His embassy was sue- 
eessful, imd the Britons retained the Mth they received, in- 
violafte and undisturbed, until the time of Diocletian. A 
pane^rrie of Antonnms Yerus from the Eoman history^ i 
*■*' A&ex the death of Antoninus his consort from apoplexy, he 
xemainedsoie empevor, with logh renown. He never changed 
conntenance either frtmi joy or sorrow. Embued with tjhe 
Stoic phikasophy, of the purest morals,.and the hi^iest eru- 
diticm, be was profoundly versed both in Greek and Latin 
literature : never dated, he vsas courteous to all ; his libe- 
zality was prompt, and his adnmiietration of the provinces 
mild and ben^aint He fou^t sueeessfrilly against the 
Germans i and waged the Msffeomannie war against the 
Iqfiades, the Yandals, the SarmatiazK, the Suetes, and the 
whole barbarism : no other such foicrtlL war, to equal tha 
Punic, is recorded. The hero of this great conflict triumphed 
as conqueror, wii^ his son Commodus. The treasury being 
exhausted, he was compelled to sell the imperial regalia, 
whidi he afterwards redeemed frc^n those who were willing 
to restore, taking no lunbrage at those who chose to retain, 
what they had. purchased. He allowed ilhistrious men to 
exhilnt the like splendour, and to be served with simika: 
ceremony in their entertainments, as himself. The magni* 
ficence of the games he celebrated in honour of his vieto- 

' There is aome confuiioa in the names cf these emperors^ which Henry 
of Huntingdon borrows from Bade. Antoninus the phihisopher was alsa 
Allied Madrcus Aurelius. His associate in the empire was named Lucius 
Verus. 

' Hist. MisceU. z. 



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d4 HENBY OF HUNTUfGDOK. [BOOK X. 

lies was such that a hundred lions are said to have been 
exhibited at one time.'' 

Commodus, son of the last-named Commodus, was em« 
peror during thirteen years. He was fortunate in war 
against the Germans ; and having caused the head of the 
Colossus to be removed, he replaced it by one taken from his 
own statue. iE^us Pertinax having reigned six months, 
was assassinated in his own palace by JuHan a lawyer. 

Severus Pertinax having put to death Juhan the lawyer, 
reigned seventeen years. An AMcan by birth from Lepti, 
a town of Tripoli, he was of a savage d&sposition and pro- 
voked by continual wars, but he ruled the state by vigorous 
efforts fortunately. Victorious in the civil wars, which were 
very harassing, and Didius Albinus, who had proclaimed him- 
self Csesar at Lyons, in Gaul, being slain, he passed into the 
British Islands. There, after many fierce batdes, he resolved 
on dividing the part of the island he had recovered from 
that held by the unconquered tribes, not, as some consider, by 
a wall, but by a rampart. For a wall is built with stones, but 
a rampart for defence of a fortified camp is constructed of 
turfs, which, being cut from the soil, are built up like a wall; 
having in front a treilch from which the turfs are raised, 
and in which stakes of stout wood are planted. Severus 
thus made a deep trench with a very strong rampart, fortified 
besides with frequent towers, from one sea to the other. 
He afterwards fell sick and died at York. He left two sons, 
Bassianus and Geta, of whom Geta was adjudged a public 
enemy, and died. Bassianus becoming emperor assumed 
the surname of Antoninus. Eutropius thus eulogizes Se- 
verus^ : " He was engaged in various and successfrd wars ; 
conquering the Parthians, the Arabs, and the Azabenians, 
whence he was simiamed Parthicus, Arabicus, Azabenicus. 
He restored the honom- of the Roman name throughout 
the world ; but he was illustrious also for civil piursuits, and 
was called Divus from his learning and cultivation of philo- 
sophy." 

Antoninus Caracalla, the son of Severus, held the empire 
seven years. Macrinus, having reigned one year at Arche- 
lais, was slain, with his son, in a military tumult. Marcus 

* Entrop. viii. 9« 



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AJ). 219.] EULGABALUS.— CLAUDIUS II, 25 

Aiirelius Antoninus^ was emperor four years; Aurelius 
Alexander^ thirteen. The latter was uniformly dutiful to 
his mother Mammea, and on that account was universally 
esteemed. " In the war which he carried on against the 
Persians, he conquered with glory their king Xerxes. He 
severely regulated the military discipline, cashiering entire 
legions which were insubordinate. At Rome he was very 
popular. He was slain in a military tumult in Gaul." ' 

Maximin the First reigned three years, and gained a 
victory over the Germans ; Gordian, who conquered the Per- 
sians, reigned five. At this time Origen flourished, who wrote 
five thousand books, as Jerom relates. Philip, and his son 
Philip, reigned seven years. He was the first Christian 
emperor. In the third year of his reign, a thousand years 
fi-om the building of Rome were completed, and this most 
at^stof all preceding eras was celebrated by the Christian 
emperor with magnificent games. " The temper of Philip 
the younger was so severe, that he was never provoked to 
merriment, and he turned his face away fi:om his own father 
when he indulged in laughter. He continually resisted 
vice, and struggled in the upward path of virtue."* Decius 
reigned one year and three months. He persecuted the 
Christians from hatred to the two Philips, father and son, 
whom he had slain. GaUus, with Yolucianus his son, 
reigned two years and four months. Valerian, with his son 
Gfldlienus, reigned fifteen years. Having raised a persecu- 
tion against Sie Christians, he was soon afterwards taken 
prisoner by the Persian king, and, being deprived of sight, 
wore out die rest of his days a wretched captive. 

Claudius the Second reigned one year and nine months. 
He subjugated the Goths who had devastated Illyrium and 
Macedonia for fifteen years ; for which a shield of gold was 
dedicated to him in the senate-house, and a golden statue in 
the capitol. AureUan reigned five years and six months. 
He being a persecutor of ti^e Christians, a thunderbolt fell 
near him, to the great horror of the bystanders, and shortly 
afterwards he was slain by the soldiers. The eulogy of 
Aurelian from the Acta of Bemarkable Mm^ : "As the 

> Known aa Elagabalus. ' Alexander Severus. ^ Eutrop. viii. 13. 
* Aurel Victor. • Ibid. 



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M HEXBY 09 HUMTIKdDOir. [BOOK X, 

"world was anibdaed by Akzandar in thirteen, by CttSttr 
in fourteen years, Aurelian rest^ed peace to the universe by 
tbirteen battles. He first of the Eonuois assumed th& 
diadem aoid robes adeemed with gold and jewels. Finn in 
correcting military licaice and dissohiteness of manners^ 
his temper was somewhat morose and haughty, and he waa 
habitually cruel" Tacitus reigned six m<Hitl^, and, being 
killed at Pontus, was succeeded by Florian, who three months 
afterwards was skin at Tarsus. Probus, who was emperor 
six years and ioiir months, completely liberated Gaul from 
the hostile barbarians who infested it. " He was a prmco 
illustrious for his activity, vigour, and justice; scarcely 
equal to Aurdian in gloiy, but excdiinghim in civil virtues- 
Having laid the foundations of peace by innumerable wacFS, 
he said that shcwrtly there would be no need of soldiers."* 
Cams, who reigned two years, having been victorious over 
the Persians, fdl near the river Tigris. 

Diocletian was joint emperor with Herculhis Maximian 
for twenty years. In their time a certain Carausius, a man 
of low origin, but bold in counsel and action, had the si^r- 
intendence of the shores of the ocean which were infested 
by the [Franks and Saxons. But his administration was 
nwMre to the loss than the advantage of the state ; for he 
applied the pkmder taken from the pirates to his own pri- 
vate use, instead of restoring it to the owners, and he was 
suspected of allowing the aiemy opportunities of making 
incursions by designed negligence. His execution for 
these delinquencies having been ordered by Maximian, 
Carausius seized Britain, assmning the purple, and main- 
tained his power for seven years with great det^mination 
and courage. At length, he was slain by Allectus, one of 
his followers, who, usurping the government, retained it for 
three years, until the prefect Aselepiodotus vanquished him 
in his palace, and recovered Britain after a revolt of ten 
years. In consequence of the wars, the emperors asso- 
ciated with themsehres Constantius in the West, and Gale- 
rius Maximus in the East. In their time a most cruel per- 
secution of the Christians raged throughout the world. In^ 
the course of it St Alban devoted himself a sacrifice to 

' Eatrop. iz. 11. 



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AD. 805.] 8AIHT JLLBAS. — DIOCIJCCIAK. ftT 

God ; of vrhom Fortonatiis, in his poem m praise of vir- 
gimlj, Hxaa speaks : — 

^ The nmted Albon frniffut Bintain bean.* 

He was a citizen of Yerulam, who gave shelter to a priest 
escaping from the Pagans, and having been converted by him 
while he lay" concealed, offered himself in his stead when 
the persecutors came to search the house. Having been 
subjected to torture, Alban was led out to be beheaded. 
Then the river was dried up, at the prayer of the saint,, 
because the concourse was too great for the people to cro8& 
the bridge. When the executioner, among odiers, witnessed 
this, he threw himself at his feet, believing, and was 
martyred with him. A fountain also burst forth at his- 
martyrdom, which was afterwards dried up. Moreover, the 
eyes of the headsman rolled on the ground with the head 
of the saint St. Alban was marked near Yerulam, t. e, 
Wirlameester or Wadlingcester, wh^:e afterwards a mag- 
nificent church, vrith a noble abbey, were erected ; and to 
this day the sick are cured and miracles wrou^t. There 
suffered dming the same persecution two citizens of Caerle(ui» 
Aaron and Julius, vrith a multitude of both sexes who bore 
witness to Almighty God when torn limb from limb, and 
exposed to unheard-of tortures. So violent was the perse- 
cution, that in the course of one month, 17,000 martyrs 
suffered for Christ's sake. But when Diocletian had laid 
aside the purple at Kicomedia, and Maximian at Milan, in 
the twentieth year of their reign, the persecution was 
abated for a time. Arrius thus writes of Diocletian '.^ 
" He was shrewd, but crafty, and of a sagacious, thou^ 
subtle spirit ; disposed, witlLal, to vent his own ill humours 
in malice towards other people. Still he was a most in- 
dustrious and politic prince, though^ contrary to the free 
habits of the Bomans, he required them to adore him, 
whereas his predecessors had only been sahited. He wore 
jewels OD his robes and sandals, and yet with unprecedented 
self-denial, he abdicated his lofty rank for a private station. 
There occurred in his case, what had never before been known 
since the existence of man, that a private individual received 
divine honours. His coadjutor, Maximian, was a prince of 
a most cruel disposition and a most forbidding aspect" ^ 
1 Eatrop. ix. 16, 



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d8 HENBY OF HUNTINODON. [BOOK I. 

Constantius, who, under the late emperors, ruled Gaul, 
Britain, and Spain, for fifteen years, continued his reign for 
one year afterwards over the whole empire in the West, 
Maximin heing emperor in the East. He foimded Cou- 
tances in that part of Gaul which is now called Normandy, 
and received in marriage the daughter of the British king 
of Colchester, whose name was Hoel or Helen, our Saint 
Helena, hy . whom he had Constantine the Great. Con- 
stantius, a great and accomplished prince, died at York. 
" He was studious to advance the prosperity of the pro- 
vinces and of private individuals ; he was imwilling to avail 
himself of the power of taxing them severely, saying that 
the public wealth was better in individual hands than locked 
up in a single coflfer. His own expenses were moderate, 
his temper gentle. He was not only beloved, but venerated, 
by the Gauls." ^ 

Constantine, who reigned thirty years and ten months, 
was the flower of Britain ; for he was British both by birth 
and coimtry ; and Britain never produced his equal, before 
or afterwards. He led an army fi'om Britain and Gaul into 
Italy, for Moximian had proclaimed Maximin his son 
Augustus at Kome. When marching against him, being 
yet a heathen, he beheld an angel of God exhibiting to him 
the sign of the cross, and calling upon him to have faith in 
the Crucified, and he believed instancy, and God overwhelmed 
Msixentius in the river's flood. Constantine then, having 
twice overcome Maximian in battle, became sole emperor of 
the world, and having been, as we find it written, cleansed 
from his leprosy by St. Sylvester in the water of baptism, 
he foimded at Rome, on the spot where he was baptized, the 
Basilica of John the Baptist, which is called the Constantine 
church. He also founded the basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul, 
on the site of the temple of Apollo, surroimding their bodies 
with a tomb of brass ^ye feet in breadth. He also foimded 
a basilica in the Sosorian Palace, which is named Jerusalem, 
where he deposited a piece of the wood of the cross. ' He 
also dedicated a basilica to St. Laurence, on the land of 
Veranus, near the Tiburtine Eoad; and another, on the 
Lavican Way, to Peter and Marcellus, martyrs ; where he 

' Bntrop. X. L 



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A.D. 307.] CONSTANTINE. — JULIAN. 29 

fixed the mausoleum of his mother, with a sarcophagus of 
red marble. He also founded a church at Ostia, near the 
Eoman gate; with one at Albano, dedicated to St. John 
Baptist ; and another in the city of Naples. Constantino 
foimded a city, called after his own name, in Thrace, which 
he made the seat of the imperial power and the capital of 
the East*. Kebuilding the city of Deprana in Bithynia, in 
honour of the martyr Lucian, who was there buried, he 
changed its name to Helenopolis, in memory of his mother. 
Tradition says that Helen, the illustrious daughter of 
Britain, smroimded London with the wall which is still 
standing, and fortified Colchester also with walls. But more 
especially she rebuilt Jerusalem, adorning it with many 
basilica purified firom idols. The praises of Constantino^ : 
" Constantino may be compared to the best princes of the first 
age of the empire ; to the ordinary ones of the last. His 
natural endowments both of mind and body were brilliant. 
Baised to the highest pitch of military glory and fortune, he 
devoted himself assiduously to the ai'ts of peace and liberal 
studies. He was distinguished for cultivating a sincere re- 
gard for his fiiends ; but the pride of his great prosperity 
tended in some degree to diminish that amiable disposition." 
Constantius, with whom were associated his brothers Con- 
stantine and Constans, reigned twenty-four years and five 
months. The Arian heresy, patronized by Constantius, 
caused many and great troubles to the Catholics. 

Julian, the Apostate, who reigned two years and eight 
months, justly perished, as the enemy of God, in fighting 
with the barbarians. His eulogy by Paulus^: "He re- 
sembled Marcus Antoninus, who was fhe object of his emula- 
tion. His learning was profound and extensive, his memory 
powerftd and comprehensive, his eloquence prompt and 
fertile, such as become a philosopher. Courteous to aU, he 
was covetous of glory to a degree that firequently overpowered 
his natural equanimity." Jovian, an excellent and pious 
emperor, reigned only eight months; a premature death 
cutting short his early promise. Valentinian, with his 
brother Valens, possessed the imperial authority only two 

' Constantinople^ the ancient Byzantium. 
' Eatrop. X. i ^ Hist Misoell. 



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so HEHHT OF HTTHmNGDON. [bOOK F. 

jeaiB. His character is ihus described in the history of 
Pankis : " Resembling Anrelian, his aspect was comely, his 
wit shrewd, his judgment sound ; he was austere, impetuous, 
a great enemy to vice, especially to avarice. He was skilful 
in painting beautiftdly, in designing new implCTttents of art, 
jmd in modelling statues both in wax and in plaster. His 
discourse was polished, sagacious, and astute.*" 

Valens, with his brothers Gratian and Valentinian, sons 
of his brother just named, reigned four years. Having 
been bi^tized by the Arians, he persecuted the Christians, 
and issued a decree that monks should serve as soldiers, 
and those who refused i^iould be scourged to death. In 
tMs reign the nation of the Huns issued suddenly from 
their mountain fastnesses, and threw themselves on the 
C9k)th6, routing and expelling them from their ancient seats. 
Tbe Gotibis, who fled across the Danube, were received by 
¥akns, wstiiout bdng disarmed ; but afterwards a famine, 
occiteioned by the avarice of MajdmtB, the governor, having 
driven them to rebellion, they d^eated the army of ¥alens, 
«nd oveiran all Thrace with daughter, fire, and rapine, 
ijratian continued for six years^ from a.d. 877, the reign 
which he had commenced jointly witk his uncle Valens. 
Drivai by necessily in tiie troubled and weil-nigh ruined 
ctate of the republic, he invested with the pinple, at Sermia, 
Theodosius, a Bpaniard, allotting to him Thrace and the 
East for his share of the empire. Theodosius, in several 
campaigns, reduced the great Be3rthian nations, the Alani, 
the Htms, and the Goths. Meanwhile, Maximus, who was 
of British origin, an active and meritorious officer, except 
that he broke his oath of allegiance and declared himself 
emperor in Britain, passed into Gaul, and by a sudden 
attack destroyed Gratian, the Augustus, and then expelled 
fpom Italy his brother Valentinian, also Augustus, who took 
reftige with "Elieodosius in the East. The eulogy of 
Oratian ^ : " He was not wanting in erudition, wrote verses, 
-and discoursed elegantiy, devoting his days and ni^ts to 
apply the keen edge of rhetorical disquisition to questions 
of the deepest interest. Sparing of food and sleep, he con- 
trolled his passions." 

' Hist MiscelL 



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jlj>. 379.] THEODOssnrs. 31 

Theodosius, a£ber the death of Gratian, reigned eleven 
years jointly with Valentinian, whom he reinstated, having 
akat up within, the walls of Aqmleia, and slain, the t3^cant 
'Maarimiis. The Bdtons who followed Maxinms remain to 
-iboB day in Armoncan Oaul, to Ihe great loss of Britain : 
.^0 liuit the Armoricans are now called Bietons. The praise 
<Kf Theodos^us : *' His defence and extension of the empire 
jsemd^red him illustricms. ELe resembled Trajan, ^m 
whom he was descaided, both in di^EK>sition and person, as 
iwe kam both £t»n ancient wntings and portraits. He was 
tiikd him in being tall in stature, in the shape of his limbs, 
sod ihe colour of his hair; but Ms eyes were not so full, 
but perhaps there was not so mudi grace and gaiety in his 
countenance, nor so muph dignity in his motions. But in 
disposition so great was the resemblance, that there is 
nothing which iSie old writers say of Tr^an which does not 
apply to Theodosius. Declaring that he only diflfered from 
other men in the accidents of his rank, he was pitiful to the 
unfortunate, respect^ to all, having the highest regaixi for 
tbe good. He loved men of ingenuous dispositions, and 
iMhuired men of learning, being liberal in his boimty to 
liuMie most worthy of it. The faults whidi stained the 
dbsn^ter of Trs^an, excessive conviviality and lust of 
wtory, he so detested, that he never engaged in war unless 
compelled, and made an edict prohibiting lascivious exhibi- 
tions and female dancers at entertainments. He was bnt 
mod^Tiately learned, but had a large share of oomnum sense, 
jmd d^ghted in becoming aoqaainted with the acts of his 
foedecessors, execrai(ang &e perfidy and the heartlessness 
<f£ diose who were haxtghty tyrants ; for he was easily moved 
to aiDger by unworthy actions, though quickly ai^)eased. He 
•bad ^e rme ^mmt of making restitution in many instances 
J:om his own fortinae of the wealth which in the course of 
years tyrannical emperors had wrtmgfrom private individuals. 
He regarded his uncle in the light of a father ; his nephews 
"and cousins as sons. He invited to his table men of worth 
and eminence, engaging them in familiar conversation, in 
which sense was seasoned with an agreeable hilarity. A 
kind father and a loving husband, he preserved his health 
by an abstemious diet and moderate exercise. Thus kind 



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32 HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK I» 

and gentle to man, his devotion to God was still more 
exemplary."^ 

Arcadius, the son of Theodosius, reigned thirteen years 
jointly with his brother Honorius. Dimng their reign, the 
Goths invaded Italy, the Vandals and Alaric Gaul, Then 
also Pelagius in Britain ^ and Julian in Campania, plai^ted 
widely the seeds of that heresy which Saint Augustine and 
many other orthodox fathers attacked with innumerajble 
authorities from CathoUc writers, without succeeding in 
correcting their folly. Indeed their assurance seemed 
rather to be augmented by the controversy, than to be 
abated by listening to the truth. Whence the rhetorician 
Prosper poetically says : — 

" Insidious, with the serpent's hellish spite, 
A scribbler 'gainst Augustine dar'd to write ; 
Sure he was fed on Britain's sea-girt plains. 
Or else Campanian plenty swell'd his veins." 

Honorius reigned fifteen years with Theodosius the 
younger, son of his brother Arcadius. In whose times, 
when the Alani, the Suevi, and the Vandals desolated all 
Gaul, Gratian was elevated to the provincial sovereignty 
of Britain, but was speedily killed. In his stead was elected 
Constantine, a man taken from the lowest ranks of the 
army, and having no other merit than the promise of his 
name. Passing into Gaul to invade the empire, he did 
great mischief to the affairs of the state by suffering himself 
to be deluded by the Gauls into pretended treaties, till at 
last, under the orders of Honorius, the Count Constantine 
shut him up in the city of Aries, seized and put him to 
death. His son also, Constans, whom, from having been a 
monk, he had proclaimed Csesar, was by the Coimt Geron- 
tius dispatched at Vienne. In these times also, a.u.o. 1164, 
Alaric, King of the Goths, besieged and took Rome, and 
having plimdered the city and binned part of it, evacuated 
it after six days. This happened about 470 years after 

» Hist. Miscell. 

' Pelagius was of British extraction, being a native of Wales. His 
patronymic name seems to have been Morgan, in Welsh sea-bom,, Pelagius 
{Tltk^ytas) signifying the same in Greek. 



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A.t). 412-421.] INCUB8I0NS OF PICT8 AND SCOTS. 3& 

Jiilius Csesar Subdued ' Britain. The Bomans had setded 
its southern region within the wall built by Severus, as the 
remains of their cities, bridges, watch-towers, and roads, 
testify to this day. They also claimed the dominion of the 
parts of Britain beyond the wall, and the neighbouring 
islands. The Roman forces being thus withdrawn from 
Britain, with the flower of her youth, who principally 
followed the tyrant Maximus, the rest being exhausted by 
the expedition of Constantine just before named, the pro- 
vince lay open to the incursions of those barbarous tribes 
the Scots and Picts. It was separated from them by two 
friths, or arms of the sea, one entering from the east, the 
other from the west, which approach each other very nearly 
without forming a jimction. About the middle of the 
eastern frith lies the city of Guidi ; the western frith has 
on its further, i. e, its right shore, the city called Alcluith*, 
which in their language signifies the rock Cluith, and near 
it is a river of the same name'. Terrified by the inroads 
of these fierce tribes, the Britons sent messengers to Rome 
bearing letters imploring assistance. One legion was 
marched to their aid, which, after slaughtering vast numbers 
of the enemy, drove the rest beyond ttie border, and retired 
in great triumph. It was recommended to the Britons to 
build a wall of stone on the rampart of Severus, so that they 
might be defended by it where the protection of the friths 
fldled. But as they constructed it with turf instead of stone, 
it answered no good purpose. The remains of this wall, 
which was of great height as well as breadth, may be seen 
at the present time. It commences about two miles from 
a place called Peneltune*, and terminates westward near the 
city of Alcluith. As soon as the enemy heard that the 
Romans were withdrawn, they embarked in boats and made 
a Btill more fierce irruption. Again the Romans returned 

> Henry of Huntiiigdon, who is following Bede> changes the expression 
of his author, which runs, ''after Julius CsBsar entered the island.'' Bede 
adds, ''from this time the Bomans ceased to rule in Britain." 

' Alcluith is now Dumbarton. The situation of Guidi is not exactly 
known; but from the description it must be somewhere about Leith or 
Queensferry. 

» The Clyde. 

* Near Abereom (Abercumig), a village on the south bank of the Frith of 
I'oHh, where formerly was a monastery. 



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34 HSNBT OF HUNTnroDoir. [book I. 

at the prayer of the Britons, and drove the barbarians with 
great slaughter ov^ the Mth. Thej also aided the Britons 
in constructing the wall of stone, not as before of turf^ and 
carrying it from one sea to the other. They also built at 
intervals on the southern shore watch-towers^ from which 
the approach of the enemy might be discerned. Theti 
they bid farewell to their alHes, giving them to understand 
that they should return no more, for they could not exhaust 
themselves in such distant expediti(His. When the Eoman 
forces were thus withdrawn, ^e enemy again flew to arms^ 
and possessed themselves of all itte island as fiEir as the 
wall. Nor was it long before they laid that in ruins, as well 
as the neighbouring towns. They soon began to devastate 
the country within the wall, so that the Britons themselves 
were driven by famine to resort to thieving and plimder^ 
and nothing was left in the whole country for the sustenance 
of life, but what was procured by hunting. The eulogy of 
Honorius : " In his moral and religious character he greatly 
resembled his father Theodosius, and, althou^ in his times 
there were many wars, both foreign and civil, they occa- 
sioned a very small effiision of blood." 

Theodosius II., also called the Younger, lost the do- 
minion of Britain. He held, however, the empire of the Bo- 
mans 28 years. In the twenty-third year of his reign, ^tius, 
an illustrious man, was Ck>nsul together with Synmiachus. 
To him the remnant of the Britons transmitted an epistle ; 
in the sequel of which (addressed "to iEtius, Consul for 
the third time") they thus imfold their lamentable story: 
" The barbarians drive us to the sea, the sea throws us back 
to the b^barians; between both we have the choice of 
death in two shapes, either to be massacred or drowned." 
But their prayers were of no avail; Miius could i^ord 
them no relief, as he was at this time embarrassed by 
serious wars with Bledda and Attila, kings of the Huns. 
And although the year afterwards Bledda, the brother of 
Attila, fell into an ambush and was slain, Attila was him- 
self so formidable an enemy to the republic that he laid 
waste nearly the whole of Europe, overthrowing everywhere 
cities and castles. At the same time a severe famine pre- 
vailed at Constantinople, followed by a pestilence, and 
great part of the city walls, with 56 towers, fell down. So 



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AJ). 421-448.] TH£ BIUTONB LEFT TO XmsaiSELTES. 96 

also in many of tbe ruined cities famine and a pestiferous 
atmosphere destrc^ed thousands both of mesi and of beasts. 
The famine aSeeted Britain, as well as the rest of the pro- 
yinces, so that the Britons, perceiving ibsi aU human aid 
&iled, invoked the divine. Then tibe Almighty, having 
tried them, had compassion on them, giving strength to 
their arms and point to thaur swords. They borst, thero- 
fDre, from their fastnesses in the mountains and the woods, 
and, rushing on the Scots and Picts, routed and slew them 
in every quarter; while the ^lemy's assaults wete no longer 
what they had been, and their arms were &eble, opposed to 
those of the Britons. Thus their heart failed thean, their 
strength was broken, and they£ed in their terror, great 
numbers being slaughtered. The Scots, with shame, re- 
turned to Ireland; fiie Picts, seeking refuge in the re- 
motest parts of the island, then first and for ever discon- 
tinned ^eir inroads. Thus the Lord gave victory to his 
pec^le, and confounded their enemies. About this time, 
t. e, in the eighth year of Theodosius, Palladius was sent 
by Pope Oelestine to ih/d Beoi&, as their £rst bishop. 
Theodosius also lost Ihe dominion of Oaul, Spain, and 
A&ica, which the Yandals, the Alans, and the Goths laid 
waste all lands with fire and sword. In the third year of 
the siege of Hippo by the fierce Genseric, Augustine, 
its bishop, departing in the Lord, was spared the grief of 
vdtnessing its fall. 

After the victory of the Britons had restored peace, they 
were blessed with an harvest of such extraordinary abim- 
dance as was in the memory of no prior times, so that as 
their triiunph had restored order, this plenty relieved the 
famine; the Almighty making trial whether, when adver- 
sity had failed to correct them, prosperity would render 
them thankful. But excess was followed by every kind of 
wickedness, without respect of God ; and so much did 
barbarism and malice and falsehood prevail, that whoever 
manifested a more gentle and truthfiil disposition was con- 
sidered the enemy of Britain, and became the common 
mark for hatred and persecution. Not only secular men, but 
the pastors of the Lord's flock, casting off his light and 
easy yoke, became the slaves of drunkenness, revenge, 
htigious contention, animosities, and every kind of wicked- 



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86 HENBT OP HUNTINGDON. [BOOK I. 

ness. Then the anger of the Lord was moved, and He 
visited the corrupt race with a terrible plague, which in a 
short time carried oflf such great multitudes that those 
who siurived scarcely sufficed to biuy the dead. But not 
even the sight of death, nor the fear of death, were suffi- 
cient to recall the survivors from the more fatal death of 
the soul into which their sins had plunged them. The 
righteous judgment of God was therefore openly shown 
in his determination to destroy the sinful nation ; and He 
stirred up against them the Scots and Picts, who were 
ready to avenge their former losses by still fiercer attacks. 
They rushed on the Britons, like wolves against lambs, 
driving them again into the fastnesses of the woods in 
which it was their custom to take refuge. There they took 
counsel what was to be done, and in what quarter protec- 
tion was to be sought against these repeated irruptions of 
the northern tribes. It was agreed, therefore, by common 
consent, with the concurrence of their king Vortigem, that 
the nation of the Saxons should be invited to come to their 
aid from over the sea ; a counsel disposed by divine Pro- 
vidence to the end that punishment should follow the wicked, 
as the issue of events sufficiently proved. 



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JU>« 440.1 ABBIYAL OF THE SAXONS. 37 



BOOK n.i 

In the former book we have treated of the forty-five emperors 
who reigned m Britam, as well as the rest of the world, of 
whom, if any now possess heavenly glory, it is because they 
are no longer in possession of earthly. Our discourse of 
them has indeed been meagre, but a longer narrative of 
their actions would have been wearisome, tedious, and 
disgusting. Let us rather reflect, from the contemplation 
of those for whose majesty and dominion the whole world 
barely sufficed, how worthless is all 'the gloiy and power 
and loftiness for which men toil and sweat and are framtic. 
K they desire glory (I speak after the manner of men), let 
them seek that which is true ; if fame, that which does not 
vanish ; if honour, that which will not fade : not that of 
the emperors we have spoken of, all whose glory is now 
empty tale. That true glory and fame and honour will be 
oiuB, if we follow Him who alone is the Truth with joy 
and gladness, and if we rest our whole trust and hope in 
God, and not on the children of men, as the Britons did, 
who, rejecting Him, and having no fear of his great ma- 
jesty, sought for aid from Pagans, and obtained t^t whii " 
befitted them. 

For the nation of the Saxons or Angles, being invited by 
the aforesaid king, crossed over to Britain, in three long 
ships, in the year of grace 449^, when Martian and Vale- 
rian, who reigned seven years, were emperors, and in the 
twenty-fourth year after the foundation of the kingdom of 

^ Tliis Second Book of Henry of Huntingdon's History is principally 
founded on Bede, with the assistance occasionally of the Saxon Chronicle. 
It rehites the arrival of the Saxons and Angles in Britain, and the establish- 
ment, teruUim, of the several kingdoms of the Heptarchy, the history of 
whidi it purines to the year 685, when all the Snglish kings and nationi 
bad been converted to Ohristiamty. 

^ See Bede, book L c 15. 



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88 HENBT OF HTJNTIKGBOH. [BOOK XX. 

the Franks, of whom Pharamond was the first king. The 
Saxons, therefore, were settled by the British king in the 
eastern part of the island, that thus they might fight for a 
country which was to become their own, while in truth 
their object was to subjugate the whole. 

A battle was fought by the Saxons against the Scots and 
Picts, who had penetrated as fkr as Stamford \ in the south 
of Lincolnshire, 40 miles from, the town of that name. 
Bot as the KortbeamB fou^ with darts and spears, yrbjle 
&e Saxons plied hisiify £eir battle-axes and long sword^ 
the Plots w&ce xmntle to withstand the weight of their 
oxiflet» and saved themaehres by fiight The Saxons gained 
&e vietoiy waod its q>oils; their countrymen receiving 
l^bngs of whidii, as weil as of the fertility of the island 
and tiie eowardioe of the Britons, a larger fleet was imme- 
diately sent oirer with a greater hod^ g£ armed men» whieh, 
wiien added to the first detachm^dt, rendered the armj 
inTiDeible. The new cosners received from the Britons an 
allotment of territory on the terms that they should defend 
bj samB the peaee and security of the countiy agunst their 
caiemies, while the Britons ^agaged to pay the auxiliary 
Ibrce. The immigrants belonged to three of &e most power- 
ful nations of Germaay, liie Saxons, the Angles, and Jutes. 
From the Jutes sprung the people oi Kent and the Isle of 
Wi^kt» with those who are sdll called Jutes in the province 
ci the West Saxoms^ opposite to the Isle of Wight From 
the Saxons, that is^ from the countiy which is now dis- 
t&nguiahed as that of the Old Saxons, are descended the East 
Saxons, the South Saxons, and the West Saxons. From 
^e An^s, that is, the people d* the countiy called Angle, 
which hm remained a desert from that time to the present, 
and is situated between the districts of the Jutes and tlie 
Saxons, are descended the East Angles, Hbe Middle An- 
glians, the Mercians, all the race of the Northumbrians, 
Qiat is, the tribes which settled to the north of the river 
Humber, with the rest of the English peof^. Their prin- 
cipal chiefe are reported to have been two broth^s, named 

1 nki MMimt of tiie bafti« of Stamford, a»d tbe fiz«t Mldomeiit of the 
Saxons in Britain, Henry of Huntingdon intiodactft from wwm •tber tmJ&uh 
ntj, now unknown, into his histoiy, in which he gOMfaHy fo^wt Bade; 



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A.D. 450.] BAYA6ES OF THE SAX0178. 80 

Hengist and Horsa, ^o were sons of Victgils, who was 
son of Wicta, who was son of Veeta, who was son of Woden, 
who was son of Frealof, who was son of Fredulf, who was 
son of Fin, who was son of Flocwald, who was son of 
Jeta, who, they said, was son of God, that is, of some idol. 
From this stock ihe royal race of many nations derived its 
origin. Before long such swarms of the nations we have 
just mentioned spread themselves throughout the island, 
that the foreign population increased exceedingly, and he- 
gan te alarm the native inhabitants who had invited them 
over. A certain author says that King Vortigem, fh>m 
apprehension of their power, married the daughter of Hen- 
gist, a heathen ; others, that, as a climax to his wickedness, 
he married his own daughter, and had a son by her ; for 
which he was excommunicated by St. Germanus and the 
whole episcopal synod ^. 

The king Vortigem was called upon by his son-in-law and 
the whole army, who, God permitting, sought an occasion 
for quarrel, to furnish larger supplies ; and they threatened 
that, imless these were forthcoming, they would break the 
treaty, and ravage the whole island. Nor were they slow in 
carrying their tiuieats into execution ; for they formed an 
alliance with the Picts, and having collected an immense 
army there remained no one able to resist them. So that 
the fire kindled by the hands of the Pagans executed 
the just judgment of God for the sins of the people, as 
that formerty lighted by the Chaldeeans consumed the 
walls and buildings of Jerusalem. So here by the agency 
of the heathen conquercwr, but by the disposition of the 
righteous Judge, they ravaged the neighbouring cities and 
lands, and the conflagration extended from the eastern to 
the western sea, there being none to oppose it, and spread 
over almost the whole face of the devoted island. PuWic 
and private buildings were levelled to the ground; the 
priests were everywhere slain before the altars ; the prelates 
and the people, without respect of persons, were destroyed 
with fire and sword ; nor were there any to bury those who 
were thus cruelly slaughtered. Some who were taken in 
the mountains were instantiy butchered ; some, exhausted 

^ See IfeimliiSy ec. 87 and 80. 



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40 HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [bOOE II, 

by famine, delivered themselves up to the enemy, willing 
to undergo perpetaal slavery in return for food, if they 
escaped slaughter on the spot. Some, with grief, sought 
refuge beyond the sea? otiiers, cleaving to their native 
country, prolonged a wretched existence among the moun- 
tsdns, woods, and inaccessible clifis, in want of eveiything, 
and continually trembling for their lives. Meanwhile, the 
king Yortigem concealed himself in the forests and moun- 
tain fastnesses of the west of Britain, hated by all. It is 
reported S also, that when the king withdrew himself to 
avoid hearing the exhortations of St. Germanus, who fol- 
lowed him in his flight, fire from heaven struck the castle 
in which he was secluded, and the king, perishing in the 
ruins, was never more seen. 

When, however, the army of the Saxons, having entirely 
routed tlie natives, returned to their own territory, the Bri- 
tons, emerging from their hiding-places, began to take 
heart, and, assembling a great force, marched into Kent 
against Hengist and Horsa. They had for ibeir leader at 
that time Ambrosius Aurelian, an able man, the only 
one of Eoman extraction who had chanced to survive the 
late troubles, in which his parents, who had been invested 
with the name and the ensigns of royalty, both perished. 
Two sons of Vortigem, Goi-timer and Catiger, acted as 
generals under him. Ambrosius himself led the first rank, 
Gortlmer the second, Catiger the third ; while Horsa and 
Hengist, though their troops were inferior in numbers, led 
them boldly against the enemy, dividing them into two bodies, 
of which each of the brothers commanded one. 

[a.d. 465.] The battle was fought at Aeillestreu^ in the 
seventh year after the arrival of tibe Saxons in Britain. At 
the first onset, Horsa charged the troops of Catiger with 
such fdiy that they were scattered like dust before th^ 
wind, and the king's son was dashed to the earth and slain. 
Meanwhile, his brother Gortimer, a most resolute soldier, 
throwing himself on the flank of Horsa's band, routed it, 
and, their brave leader being slain, compelled the sur- 

> See Nennhis. 

' Sax. Ohron., iEgcIestlirep, " a ihorp, or village, near Ayletford/' in 
Kent — Ingram, See Nenniuii c. 46, and Bede, btrak I c. 16. 



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A J), 465.] VICTORY OF AlklBROSIUS, 41 

vivors to retreat on the division of Hengist, which was en* 
gaged unbroken with the van of the British army com- 
manded by Ambrosias. The brunt of the battle now fell 
on Hengist, who, straitened by the skilful advance of Gor- 
timer, ti^ough he made a long resistance and caused a 
great loss to the Britons, at length, what he had never done 
before, fled. It is reported by some writers that Hengist 
subsequently fought three battles in the same year i^ainst 
the Britons, but could not make head against the proved 
valour of Gortimer and the superior nimiber of his forces ; 
so that once he was driven into the Isle of Thanet and once 
to his ships, and dispatched messengers to recall the Saxony 
who had returned to their own coimtry. 

The year following, when Leo was emperor, who reigned 
seventeen years, Gortimer, the flower of the youth of Britain, 
fell sick and died, and with him ended the victories and the 
hopes of his coimtiymen. Encouraged by his death, and 
strengthened by the recall of his auxiliaries, who had for a 
time left the island, Hengist, with his son Esc, prepared 
for war at Creganford^; while the Britons mustered four 
powerful bodies of men, under four of their bravest chiefs'*. 
But when the game of war commenced they were disheart* 
ened by the unusual superiority of the Saxons in number. 
Besides the newly-arrived were chosen troops, who dread* 
folly gashed the bodies of the Britons with their battle-axes 
and long swords ; nor was there any respite tiU they had 
cut down and slain all the four leaders, and the Britons 
fled in the greatest terror out of Thanet, as far as London. 
They never again appeared in arms in Kent, where Hen- 
gist and his son Esc thenceforth reigned, the kingdom of 
Kent dating from the eighth year after the arrived of the 
Angles. 

In those times [a.d. 429] Germanus, bishop of Auxerre, 
who was illustrious for his sanctity and miraculous powers, 
together with Lupus, bishop of Troyes, came into Britain 

" Crayford, the ford of the river Cray, near Bezley, in Kent 
' The Saxon Chronicle says nothing of this diyiaion ; but states that four 
thousand Britons were slain. Henry of Huntingdon, who seems ta have had 
before him some of the worst MSS. of the Saxon Chronicle, ingenioiuly 
perverts the text, but very naturally kills the four leaders of the four divi- 
sions he has conjured up. — See Ingram, Sax, Chron* 



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4d HEKBT OF HUMTIROBOK. [BOOK n. 

to eztingtiish the Pelagian heresy. In confirmation of their 
argmnents, to conTince the assemhled people, he restored 
sight to the daughter of a trihnne, i^o had heen blind t^i 
vears ; and he also stopped l^e burning of a cottage wrapt 
m flame, in whidi kj a sick man, -who was thus rescued 
horn Hie conflagration. He placed in the tomb of St 
Alban the relics of several omer martyrs, carrying away 
from it a particle of dust still red with the blood of the 
saint ; on the same day, and at that place, converting to the 
Lord a vast crowd of people. Meanwhile, the Saxons and 
PictB having united &eir forces, made war upon the Bri- 
tons, who implored the aid of the holy Germanus. The 
saint promised to be himself their leader. Actiug, tha*e- 
fore, as general, he drew up the army in a valley surrounded 
by hills, posting it in the quarter at which Hie enemy was 
expected to approach^. And now the scouts announced 
that their savage foes w^e in sight Immediately the holy 
man, raising the standard aloft, exhorted them all to repeat 
his words vnth a loud voice. The enemy was advancing 
cardessly, thinking to take them by surprise, when tlirice 
he cried " Hallelujah," and thrice Hie priests repeated it 
Hie word was resounded by all the people. Their shouts 
were multiplied by tiie echoes of the surrounding hills, and 
the enemy was strode wiHi terror, believing that not only 
the overfmn^g cHfls, but the veiy skies themselves, were 
Miing upon th^n. Such, was their terror that they fled in 
disord^ ; and i^eir feet being hardly swift enough to carry 
them from the scene of tlieir alarm they threw away their 
arms, well satisfied if they could escape Hie danga: with 
only Hieir naked bodies. Many in their retreat, Uinded 
by their fears, plunged into the river which they had 
crossed, and were swept away by the torrent. The Britons 
anhurt looked on while they were avenged of their ene- 
mies, and joyfuQy collected Hie spoils which their heaven- 
wrot^t victory had secured. The prelates exulted in a 
triumph gained without bloodshed, by faith, and not by 
human strength. The foe thus conquered, the prelates, 
blessed boHi in body and mind, returned to their own 

^ Tbi§ \mt^ was fought aetr Mold, in Flmttliiie; See Note to Bedels 
Hiftory, p. 81 of the j^etent •erieiL 



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A.I>. 465.] BATTLE OF EBBFLEET. 48 

country. Not long afterwards, Hie Pelagian heresy btmrt- 
•ing forth again, Germanus, at the entreaty of all the inieatB 
of Britain, reti:mied again, accompanied by Sevanis, Bishop 
of Treves, and, re-establishing the orthodox faith, healed 
the son of Elafius, a chief, who was lame &om a contraetion 
of ibe tendcms d the knee, in the sight of all the people. 
Having restored order he then went to Bavenna, to im- 
plore peace for the Armoriean nation. There, having been 
received with the greatest honour by Yalentinian, he departed 
to Christ. Not long afterwards Yalentinian was murdered 
by the followers ci iBthis, tiie patrician, whom he had put 
to death; the same to whcmi the Britons addressed the 
letter before quoted. With Yalentinian ended the empire of 
the West 

After a little time Hengist the king and Esc his son, 
supported by the auxiliaries from beyond the sea, cc^ected 
an invincible army in the seventeenth year after their arrival 
in Britain'. Against this was gathered the whole strei^fth of 
Britain, in twelve columns, admirably arrayed. The armies 
met at Wippedesflede^ where the battle was long and ob- 
stinate, until at length Hengist overthrew the twelve chiefs^ 
taking their standards, and putting their followers to di^A. 
He, too, lost many of his troops and principal leaders ; one 
especially, called Wipped, from whom the place where the 
battle was fought took its name. This victory was there- 
fi>re a source of regret and lamentation on both sides, so 
that for a long time neither the Saxons invaded the terri- 
tories of the Britons, nor the Britons ventured to come 
into Kent But still, though there was a respite from 
fc»eign, th^e wta none from internal, war^. Amidst the 
ruins c^ the cities which the enemy had destroyed, the 
inhabitants ^vdio had escaped the ruin fought with one 
another. While, indeed, ite calamities they had suffered 
were fresh in thdr memories, both kings and priests, 
^siefs and people, maintained their reiq[>ective ranks; but 

> [a.d. 465.] From this date to the year 527, Henry of Hnntrngdon 
introdnces many recital^ for which it ii aot ksowB whem^e he coileeted 
fluternds. 

* Wippedfleet, or BhMeety Eenl. 

' Bede, book I 22. 



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44 HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK IJ. 

vrhen a younger generation grew up, which had no expe- 
rience beyond the present settled state of affairs, all die. 
sanctions of truth and justice were violated and sub- 
verted, so that, not to say all traces of them, the very 
memory of their existence, remained to very few indeed. 
God, therefore, sent over from time to time from amongst 
the German nations most cruel chiefs, to be destroyers of 
the nation which was hateful to Him. Among the princi- 
pal of these was the chief -Mia, with his three sons, Cymen, 
Pleting^ and Cissa, 

[a.j>. 477.] .Ella and his sons having fitted out a fleet, in 
which a large body of troops was embarked, appeared off 
Cymenesore'*^ where their landing was opposed by vast 
numbers of the Britons, who flew to arms from the neigh- 
bouring districts, and with loud shouts gave them batfle. 
The Saxons, who were vastly superior in stature and 
strength, received their attacks with much coolness; while, 
the onset of the natives was disorderly, as rushing on with- 
out concert, and in desultory bands, they were cut down by 
the serried ranks of the enemy, and those who escaped in- 
creased the conftision by reports of their disaster. The 
defeated Britons fled to the shelter of the neighbouring 
forest, which is called Andredsleige'; while the Saxons 
possessed themselves of the sea-coast of Sussex, continually 
occupying more territory from time to time, imtil the ninl^ 
year of their descent on that coast. Then, however, their 
frullier advance was so audacious that the kings and chiefs 
of the Britons assembled at Mercredesbume, where they 
fought a battle with JEM& and his sons. The issue was 
doubtful, both annies being greatly crippled and thinned, 
and, vowing against a continuation of the conflict, retired to 
their own districts, while -Mia sent messages to his com- 
patriots entreating aid. ^Ua came into Britain about the 
thirtieth year after the arrival of the Angles. 

[iLP. 488.] Hengist, King of Kent, died in the fortieth 

* Wlencing. 

^ Shoreham, in Sussex ; some, however^ place it near Selsey. 

' The Anderida SyWa of the Bomans, and Ooed-Andred of the Biitona ; 
the vast forests of which the wealds of Sussex and Kent are the present 
remains. 



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A.D. 488-495.] KINGDOM OF SUSSEX. 45 

year after his invasion of Britain, and his son Esc reigned 
34 years \ in the time of the Emperor Zeno, whose reign 
lasted 17 years. Esc, inheriting his father's valour, firmly 
defended his kingdom against the Britons, and augmented 
it by territories conquered from them. 

[a.d. 490.] The kingdom of Sussex, which -^Ua founded, 
he long and valiantly maintained. In the third year after 
the death of Hengist, in the time of Anastasius, Emperor 
of Rome, who reigned 27 years, -^Ua was joined by aux- 
iliaries from his own country, with whose assistance he laid 
siege to Andredecester, a strongly-fortified town^. The 
Britons swarmed together like wasps, assailing the be- 
siegers by daily ambuscades and nocturnal saUies. There 
was neither day nor night in which some new alarm did 
not harass the minds of the Saxons ; but the more they 
were provoked, the more vigorously they pressed the siege. 
Whenever they advanced to the assault of the town, &e 
Britons from without falling on their rear with their archers 
and slingers drew the Pagans away from the walls to resist 
their own attack, which the Britons, lighter of foot, avoided 
by taking refuge in the woods ; and when they turned 
i^ain to assault the town, again the Britons hung on their 
rear. The Saxons were for some time harassed by these 
manoeuvres, till, having lost a great number of men, they 
divided their army into two bodies, one of which carried on 
the siege, while the other repelled the attacks from without. 
After this the Britons were so reduced by continual famine 
that they were imable any longer to withstand the force of 
the besiegers, so that they all fell by the edge of the sword, 
with their women and children, not one escaping alive. 
The foreigners were so enraged at the loss they had sus- 
tained that they totally destroyed the city, and it was never 
afterwards rebiult, so that its desolate site is all that is now 
pointed out to travellers. 

[a.d. 495.] In the forty-seventh year from the arrival of 

1 Saxon Chronicle, 24 yesrs. 

^ Saxon Chronicle. Pevensey Castle is supposed to stand on the site 
of Andred-cester, though some antiquarians pkce it elsewhere on the coast 
of Sussex. Its name, and the subsequent details of Henry of Huntingdon^ 
show that it stood on the yerge of the great wood mentioned in a preceding 
note. 



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46 HENBT OF HUMinKQMV. [BOOK H. 

the Angles in Britain, Oerdie and his s<m Genrie appeared 
off Cerdice-sore ^ with five ships. The same day the people 
of the neighhonrhood assemlded in great numhers and 
fot^ht against them. The Saxons stood £rm in order of 
batde before their ships, repelling the attacks of the islanders 
without pursuing Ihem, for they never quitted th^ ranks. 
The day was spent in these altemate attacks and retreats 
till night put an end to the conflict. Finding how resolute 
the Saxons were, the Britons retired, and neither party 
claimed a victory. Cerdic, however, and his son madie 
good their occupation of the hostile territory, fix)m time to 
time enlarging their possessions along tlie coast, though 
not without frequent wars with the natives. 

[a.d. 601.] Seven years after the invasion of Gerdie, Port^ 
witiii his sons Beda and Megla, disembari^ed from two stout 
ships at Portsmouth. An alarm was immediately spread 
throughout the neighbourhood, and the governor of tho 
district with the whole population fought the invaders. But 
as the attack was disorderly, as each arrived on the spot, 
they were routed in the twinlding of an eye. The Brit<ms 
indeed rushed boldly on the enemy, but the steady valour 
of the Saxons threw them into confusion. The chief and 
the people being either slain or put to flight, the victory 
remained with Port and his sons. From him the place 
was called Portsmouth. 

[a.i). 608.] I now proceed to describe the war between 
Nazaleod, the greatest of the British kings, and Cerdic, with 
his son Kenric, in the sixtieth year of the immigration 
of ihe Angles. Nazaleod was a king of high renown and 
exalted rank, fiom whom the country now called Cerdiches- 
forde^ was then named Nazaleoli, and as he had collected 
under his banner the whole force of the Britons, C^die 
and his son entreated aid £x)m Esc, the king of Kent, and 
from iEUa, the great king of the South-Saxons, and from 
Port and his sons, the last who had come over. Their 

^ Cerdice-sore, the shore of Cerdic^ now Yannonth^ t\e month of the 
Tar, or Gar, in Norfolk. 

* 8azon Chronicle, Natanleod; Charfbrd, near Fordinghridge, Haatg. 
The Saxon Chronicle reads ; " The hind was named Netley from him as fiur 
as Charford." Henry of Huntingdon confuses the passage by a mistidccn 
translation of the Sazon word ''as far as," which he renders ''now." 



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A.D. 508-514.] COKQUESiS OF CEBOSO. 47 

forces -were arrayed in two wings, of whidi Oerdic com- 
manded the right, Kenric, his son, the left In the £rst 
onset, Nazaleod observing that the ri^t wing was the 
strongest, charged it with his whole force for the purpose of 
routing at once the most formidable part of the enemy's army. 
His impetuous attack in a momait overthrew the standaids, 
pierced the ranks, and put Oerdic to flight, with great 
shra^ter c£ his right wing. Meanvdiile Kenric, perceiving 
his father's defeat, and the rout of his troops, led the left wing^ 
which was under his command, against the rear of the 
enemy, who were pursuing the fugitives. The batde vras 
then renewed with fresh vigour, until the king Nazaleod 
was slain, and his whole army routed. Five tibousand of 
his troops fell on the field. The rest saved themselves by 
a precipitate retreat. The Saxons gained the honour of a 
victory which secured to them peace for some years, and 
allur^ to them many and powerM auxiliaries. 

[a.d. 514.] Among these, in the sixth year after <iie war, 
Stuf and Witgar came with three ships to Gerdicesore^. 
At daybreak the British chiefs arrayed their forces against 
the invaders with much military sk&l. They led one body 
along the ridges of the hills, and another in the valley with 
silence and caulion, until the rays of the rising sun glancing 
from their gilded shields, the hill tops and the very sky 
above them ^stened with tiie bright array. The Saxons 
were struck witJi terror as they advanced to battle ; but 
when the two strong armies came into collision, the courage 
of the Britons failed, because Grod despised them. The 
triumph of the Saxon chiefs was signal, and the restdt 
secured them large possessions. Thus the name of Oerdic 
was rendered terrible, and in the strength of it he overran 
the country. 

About this time died iBUla, King of the South-Saxons, who 
enjoyed all the prerogatives of English royalty, having under 
him kings and nobles and governors. His son Oissa suc- 
ceeded him, and their posterity afterwards. But in process 
of time, their power was much diminished, and at length 
they were l»rought under subjection by other kings. 

1 Saxon duromde, M«tAew of Westminster says two. 



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48 HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [bOOK ll. 

Ttfe kingdom of Wessex was foiinded in the year 71 of 
the Angles in Britain, a.d. 519, in the time of the Emperor 
Justinian the elder, who reigned eight years. In the course 
of time the kings of Wessex suhjugated all the other king- 
doms, and established a monarchy over the whole of Eng- 
land, so that we may reckon the times of all the other kings 
with reference to those of the kings of Wessex, by whose 
growing power the others may be noted. When Cerdic had 
reigned seventeen years in Wessex, that same year some of 
the most powerful of the British chiefs joined battle against 
him. It was fought bravely and obstinately on both sides, 
till when the day was declining, the Saxons gained the vic- 
tory; and there was great slaughter that day of the inha- 
bitants of Albion, which would have been still more terrible 
had not the setting of the sun stayed it Thus was the 
name of Cerdic glorified, and the fame of his wars, and of 
his son Kenric was spread over all the land. From that 
day is reckoned the beginning of the kingdom of Wessex, 
which, absorbing all the rest, has continued to our times. 
Cerdic and Kenric, his son, in the nintb year of his reign 
[a.d. 527], fought another battle against the Britons at Cer- 
dicesford, in which there was great slaughter on both sides. 
At that time large bodies of men came successively from 
Germany, and took possession of East-Anglia and Mercia ; 
they were not as yet reduced under the government of one 
king ; various chiefs contended for the occupation of dif- 
ferent districts, waging continual wars with each other ; but 
they were too numerous to have their names preserved. 

Ll those times Arthur the mighty warrior, general of the 
armies and chief of the kings of Britain, was constantly vic- 
torious in his wars with tihe Saxons. He was the com- 
mander in twelve battles, and gained twelve victories. The 
first battle was fought near the mouth of the river which is 
called Glenus^ The second, third, fourth and fifth battles 
were fought near another river which the Britons called 
Duglas, in the country of Cinuis : the sixth on the river 
called Bassas. The seventh was fought in the forest of 
Chelidon, which in British is called " Cat-coit-Celidon." The 
eighth battle against the barbarians was fought near the 
» Or Glenn. 



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A.D. 527-530.] KINGDOM OF ESSEX FOUNDED. 49 

castle Guinnion, during which Arthur bore the image of St 
Mary, mother of God and always virgin, on his shoulders, 
and by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the blessed 
Mary his mother, the Saxons were routed tlie whole of that 
day, and many of them perished with great slaughter. The 
ninth battle he fought at the city LeogisS which in the 
British tongue is called *' Kaerlion." The tenth he fought 
on the bai^ of a river which we call Tractiheuroit ; 3ie 
eleventh, on a hill which is named Brevom, where he routed 
the people we call Cathbregion. The twelfth was a hard- 
fought battle with the Saxons on Mount Badon, in which 
440 of the Britons fell by the swords of their enemies in 
a single day, none of their host acting in concert, and 
Arthur alone receiving succour from 3ie Lord. These 
battles and battle-fields are described by Gildas the histo- 
rian*^, but in our times the places are unknown, the Pro- 
vidence of God, we consider, having so ordered it that 
popular applause and flattery, and transitory gloiy, might be 
of no account At this period there were many wars, in 
which sometimes the Saxons, sometimes the Britons, were 
victors ; but the more the Saxons were defeated, the more 
they recruited their forces by invitations sent to the people 
of all the neighbouring countries. 

The kingdom of Essex, that is, of the East^Saxons, was 
founded, as fax as we can collect from old writers, by Erchen- 
win, who was the son of OflFa, who was the son of Biedcan, 
who was the son of Sigewlf, who was the son of Spoewe, 
who was the son of Gesac, who was the son of Andesc, who 
was the son of Saxnat Slede, the son of Erchenwin, suc- 
ceeded his father in the kingdom of Essex ; he married the 
daughter of Ermeric, king of Kent, and sister of Ethelbert. 
His son by her, Sibert, was the first king of Essex con- 
verted to the Christian flBiith. 

[a.d. 530.] Meanwhile, Cerdic, with his son Kenric, having 
assembled a great army, fought at Wit-land, and being suc- 
cessful in the war, reduced the whole island after a prodi- 

1 Or Legionis, of the legion. 

' Henry of Huntingdon quotes Nenniot under thii name. See ce. 68'-4 
«f the Hift Nenn. 



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KO HBVBT OF HUMTINODOV. [bOOK XL 

gtotis Blaa^ter of the easmy in batda at Witgaxesburg^, in 
the thirteenth year of his reign. Four years afterwards, 
Gertie conferred the island, whidi in Latin is called ** Yeota," 
on his nephews, Stof and Witgar. Gerdic, the first kmg of 
Wessex, reigned eighteen years*. On his death [xj>. 534] 
Eenric, his scm, reigned after him ^ years, in the times 
of the EmpenMT Jostiniaa, whose reign lasted 88 years, and 
when Vigilius was Pope. 

[a.I). 538.] In the fifth year of Eenric, tiie sun was 6cl^>sed 
firom dayii^t to the third hour, in the month of March; 
and in the serenth year of his reign [a^. 540], it was eclipsed 
from the third to almost the ninth hour, on the xii kaL 
July [i^Hh June], so that the stars were viMhle. In the 
teeih year of Kenrie's reign, died Witgar, and was buried 
at Witgaresburg, which deriyed its name £com him. 

The kingdom of the Northtmibrians dates firom the 
thirteen^ ^ year of the reign of Kenric. The chiefs of the 
Angles who subdued that province, after a seiies of serere 
ba^es, elected Ida, a young noMeman of the hi^^iestrank, 
king. He was the son (rf Eoppe*, the son of Esc*, the s(m 
of fagnim, the son of Angenwite, the son of Aloe, the son 
of Beonoc, the son of Brand, the son of BsekLsBt, the son 
of Woden, the son of Freddaf, the son of Eredewlf, the 
son of Fin, the son of Godwlf, the son of Heat8B^ Ida, a 
▼aliant prince, reigned twelve years, indefatigable and always 
m arms. He built Bebanburgh^ fortifykog it by surround- 
ing it with an earthen mound, and afterwards with a wall. 
He began his reign in the year of grace 547. 

[a.b. 55d.} Kenric, in the eighteenth year of his reign 
fought against the Britons^ who advanced with a great army 
as &r as Salisbmy ; but having assembled an aunhary force 
from all quarters, he engaged them triumphant)^, over- 
throwing tiieir numerous army, uid completely rcnstiiig 
and dispersing it In the twenty-second year of his reign 

* Ouiibiookt *Sixteent ^ Foartoentkt 

* This genealogy follows the Saxon Ohronicle. 

* JSscwine. « Or Geatse. 

7 Bamborough Castle, in Northumberland. Sm Sasoft CfaiMiids. Heniy 
ti Huntingdon, who attribwtaf b«t& dw bridig* aid the wall to King Ida, is 
followed by M. of Westminster, an, 648. 



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A.]>. M6.] BATTL8 OF BAKBUfiT. fl 

[▲j>. 656], Keniie, with Ms son Ceanlin, had another batde 
widi the Britons, whidi was after this manner : to atenge 
the defeat which they had sustained five yean before, the 
Sritons asseml^ied vast numbers of their bravest warriors, 
and drew them np near Banbory. Their batde array was 
formed in nine battalions, a convenient number for military 
tactics, three being posted in ^be van, three in the centre, 
and three in the rear, with chosen commanders to each, while 
the archers and slingers and cavaliy were di^osed afW the 
Boman order. But the Saxons advanced to the attack in 
one compact body with such fury, that the standards being 
4a^ed together and home down, and the spears being 
lm>ken, it became a hand-to-hand fight with the sword. 
The battle lasted till night-fall without either party being 
aUe to claim the victory. Nor is that wcmderfnl, consider- 
ing that ihe warriors were men of extraordmary stature, 
strength, and resolution ; while in our days they are so de- 
generate, that when armies come into coUision, one or 
otherof them is put to flight at the first onset Eenric,hav- 
ing reigned 26 years, died [a.d. 560], and Ceaulin his son 
reigned in his stead 30 years. In ihe same year, Ida, 
king of Northumbria, also died, and after him Ella reigned 
dO years, though he was not the son of Ida, but the son 
of Ma, the son of Us^^ea, the son of Witgils, the son of 
Westrefalcna, the son of Sefugil, the son of Seabald, the 
son of Sigegeat, the son of Wepdeg, the son of Woden, the 
9(m of Fredealaf. 

In the sixth year of Oeaulin's reign in Wessex, E&elb^, 
that great king, began to reign in Kent^. He was the tiurd 
o( the English kings who ruled aU their eastern provinces 
which are divided hy the river Humber, and the neighbour- 
ing boundaries, firom the northern kingdom. The first who 
possessed this supreme power* was JSUa, king of the East- 
Saxons ; the second, Ceaulin, king c^ the West-Sazons ; the 
third, as just stated, Ethelbert, king of Kent; the fourth, 

* The Saxon ChronicU fijces the AocMtioii of Bih^ert in tke first year of 
Oeanlin, instead of the sixth, in which it appears to agree with the compnta- 
tion of Bede. See book i. c. 5. 

* These paiamcBBt kings wan called Bretwakbb The snOt wm personal 
and not hereditary. 

E 2 



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fid BBHBY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK H. 

• Bedwald, king of the East-Angles, who, during the life- 
time of Ethelbert, held the gOTemment of his own state. 
The fifth monarch was Edwin, king of the Northmnbrians, 
the most powerful people of all who inhabited Britain. 
His dominion extended over all the tribes both of the 
English and Britons, with the exception of the people of 
Kent. He also reduced to the dominion of the English, 
the Isle of Man and the other islands which lie between 
Britain and Ireland. Sixthly, Oswald, king of Northum- 
bria, a prince of great sanctity, held the sovereignty of the 
various nations within the same boimdaries. Seventhly, 
Oswy, his brother, in a short time established his rule with 
almost equal Umits ; and he also subjugated and rendered 
tributary most of the tribes of Scots and Picts who occu- 
pied the northern districts of Britain. The eighth was 
Egbert, king of Wessex, whose rule extended as far as the 
Himaber. The ninth was Alfred, his grandson, who esta- 
blished his authority in all parts of &e kingdom. The 
tenth was Edgar, great-graudson of Alfred, a brave though 
peaceful king, whose dominion, or at least his ascendancy, 
extended over all the English and Scottish people ; which 
his successors inherit to the present day. It was in the 
time of Ethelbert that the English were converted to the 
Christian Mth, which will be diligently treated of in the 
sequel of our history^. 

[a.d. 568.] Ceaulin, in the ninth year of his reign, with 
his brother Chuta, two very valiant men, were compelled 
by various causes to engage in war with Ethelbert, who had 
arrogantly intruded himself into their kingdom. In a 
battle fought at Mirandime^, his two generals, Oslap and 
Cneban, thimderbolts of war, with a vast number of their 
followers, were slain, and Ethelbert himself was pursued as 
iar as Kent. This is remarkable as the first international 
war among the English kings. 

[a.d. 671.] In the twelfth year also of Ceaulin, his brother 
Cutha fought a battle with flie Britons at Bedeanford, now 
called Bedford, the chief town of the neighbouring dis- 

> In Book iiL following. 

^ Qaery^ Merton, in Surrey. Some MSS. read Wipandnne or Wibban- 
done* 



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AJ). 571-590.] EABT-ANGLTA AND MEBCIA. 53 

trict. In this battle he was victorious, and the fiiiits of lus 
arms were four fortified places, namely, Lienbirig, Aelesbuiy^ 
Benesintune, and ^cgnesham ^ ; but Cutha, a great man, the 
king's brother, died the same year. 

The foimder of the kingdom of East-Anglia, which in- 
cludes Norfolk and Suffolk, was UflFa, from whom the kings 
of the East-Angles were called UflBingas. It was afterwards 
held by his broQier Titulus, the bravest of the East-Anglian 
kings. 

[a.d. 577.] Ceaulin, with his son Cuthwine, in the eigh- 
teenth year of his reign fought a battle with the Britons at 
Deorham*. Three British fings, Commagil, Candidan, and 
Farinmagil, led their followers against' them splendidly and 
skilfully arrayed, so that the conflict was veiy obstinate. 
But the Almighty gave the victory on that day to his enemies, 
and discomfited his own people, who had foolishly offended 
Him, so that the three Christian kings were slain, and the 
survivors from the slaughter were put to flight. The Saxons 
pursued them fiercely, taking three important towns, Glou» 
cester, Cirencester, and Bath. 

[a.i). 684.] In the twenty-fifth year of his reign, Ceaulin 
and Cuthwine again fought with the Britons at Fedhsmlea'. 
The battle was fought with great loss and fiiry on both 
sides. Cuthwine, overcome by niunbers, was struck down 
and slain ; and the English were routed and put to flight 
But the king Ceaulin succeeded in rallying his troops, and 
snatched the victory from those who haa been at first victors, 
and, pursuing the vanquished, gained much land and great 
booty. 

Crida, as far as we learn from old records, was the first 
king of Mercia. Such were the beginnings of the several 
English kingdoms, of which I have pointed out the dates 
and revolutions as clearly as I could from what we find in 
the books of ancient writers, bringing them into relation 
with the SBras of the kings of Wessex. 

[a.d. 590-596.] Ceaulin died in the thirtieth year of his 

' ' Lygcanburh {Parte), Lenbnry {Ingram). The three last placei are 
clearly Ailesbmy, Benson, and Ensham.— See Saa* Chroii, 
* Pyrham, in Gloucestershire. 
' Frethem, near the Severn in Gloucestershire. 



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54 HENBY 07 HUXTCDraDOH. [BOOK IL 

reign \ and after him Gec^c reigned five years.. Ella,king 
of the Northumbrians, died the same year^ and after him 
Ethehric reigned also five years. In the third year after 
this, &e Britons and Saxcxns fonght a battle at Wodnes- 
bnrie^ The British army advanced in close order, aftear ^e 
Boman fashion, but the Saxons rushed forward with despe- 
rate, but disorderly, courage, and the conflict was very severe. 
God gave the victory to tibe Britons ; and Hne Saxons, who 
commonly were as much superior to the Britons in fight, as 
they were slower in flight, suflfered much in their retreat. 
After these times Grida, king of Mercia, departed this li£B^ 
and his son Wippa [or Pybba] succeeded him. About Ihis 
time also Ethelfert, who is named the Fierce, succeeded 
EtheMc in Northumbria. Now also the Lombards invaded 
Italy; and not long afterwards Gregory introduced the V70^ 
of God into En^and. 

[aj). 597.] During the reign of Cedric in Wessex, of 
Ethelfert in Northumbria, and of Wippa in Mercia, Ethc^ 
bert, the king of Kent, and the Eentii^ people, were conr 
verted to the faith, as will be shown in the Book following*. 
Wippa was succeeded by Keorl*, ^o was not his son, but 
his kinsman. Ceolric departed this life after a reign of five 
years, after whom Oeolwulf reigned in Wessex fourteen 
years, through all of which he was engaged in wars, either 
with the English, or the Scote, or the Picts. Oeolwulf ^ 



' Hhe Saxon Chronicle states that Ceaulin " wm driTen from his king- 
dom" in 590 [or 591], and died in 593. It does not speak of Ms haring 
been restored, and dates the accession of Oeolric from his expulsion. Henrj 
of Himtingdon, hoieever, confuses the two events, thon^ he confutes 
CeKHlin'i reign correctly at 80 years. 

' Henry of Himtingdon also errs in fixing the death of Slla iimI the accef- 
rion of Ethelric the same year as the death of Ceaolin. The Saxon Chronicle, 
the better anthority, places it in 588. 

* Wansb(aeugh, or Wanborongh, Wilts. Aoeofding to the Saxon 
Chronicle, it was c^fter this battlet, which was ia 591, that Ceaidin wai 
esqpelled. 

* Book iii. 

* ** Flor. of Worcester makes Eeozl the same person as Crida ; but ai tae 
name of 'Keorl' does not a]^>ear in the genealogies of ihe kings, Henry o 
Huntingdon considers him a different person, and describes hmi a« a i 
man, and not a son, of Wippa."— Pctrw. 



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A.i>. 604,] aAXOHs is» bwtoms. 56 

son of Chute, who was son of KmxiC, who was son of 
Cerdic. 

In the seventh year of Oeolwulf ^, which was the first of 
the Emperor Fhoeas, who goyemed the Roman Empire eight 
years, Ethelbert, the fierce king of the Northumbrians, who 
was more powerful and move amMtdous than all the Englifth 
Imigs, made great hayoc of the Britons. No one of their 
generals, no one of their kings, redneed m<»:6 of the land 
to the condition of being dtheor tributanr to the Saxons or 
colonized by them, after the natiye inhabitants were either 
exterminated or enslaved. What was said of Benjamin 
may truly be applied to him: ^ Benjamin shall imsx as a 
w<^; in the m<»ning he shall devour the prey, and at ni^t 
he shall divide the q^nl.**' Wheiefore, roused by his ag* 
gressions, iBdan, king of the Soots who had settled in 
Britain, marched against him with a numerous and power* 
fol army, but was defeated and fled with a very few folr 
lowers. [a.d. 603.] In this batde, which was fought at a well- 
known place called Degsfanstan^ almost the whole army 
of the Scots was slaught^ed. Tedbald also, the brother of 
EthelMd, was slain v^ the body of troops whidi he com- 
manded. From that time none of the Scottish kings ven- 
tored to engage in war with the En^^h nation. 

[a.1). 607.] In the ninth year of Ceolwulf; the king Ethel- 
Md obtained a Victory ova: the Britons at Carlisle; of tha 
events of this, the greatest of his wars, we propose to teat 
in the Book which follows, reiq[>eeting the conversion of 
AeEn^ish. Among the various wars in which Ceolwulf was 
CTigaged, which we omit to notice for the sake of brevi^* 
there was a veiymemorable battle against ihe men of Sussex* 
in which both armies suffered grievously, that of Sussex 
the most severely, Ceolwulf died after a reign of fourtacan 
years, and after him Kinigils was kmg of Wessex during 
SI years,in the time of Meracliua, who was emperor 26 
years. Einigik was son of Ceohic, ^be son of Chute, tha 
son of Cwdic. In the fourth year <^ his reign [juD. 614] 
he asBomated with himself in the regal dignity h^ brother 
Iadlelm^ and tiiey assemUed an army against the Britums 

^ Bede, i. 84. ^ Gen. zIik. 27. ' Bauton ? in Cumberland. 

* Siucon Chronicle, Cwidielm. 



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66 HBNBT OF HUNTIHODON, [BOOK II. 

at Beandune*. As soon as it was fonned into sections, 
companies, and battalions, with centurions, generals, and 
commanders in due order, it was led against the enemy. 
But when the Britons saw it advance in terrible array, with 
the gay standards pointed towards them, the long spears 
advanced, and the edges of the heavy bal^e-axes gleaming 
in their eyes, they were struck with a sudden panic, and at 
once had recourse to flight; but not in time to save them- 
selves. The Saxons were victorious without any loss on 
their side, and on numbering the slain they counted two 
thousand and sixty-two bodies of the Britons. 

[a.d. 616-17.] In the sixth year of Einigils, died 
Ethelbert, king of Kent, and was succeeded by his son 
^dbold. In the following year, EthelMd, king of the 
Northumbrians, and BedwaLd, king of East-Anglia, levied 
nimierous armies on both sides, in consequence of provoca- 
tions mutually received. A battle was fought between them 
on the borders of Mercia, on the eastern bank of the river 
Idle* : from whence, it is said " the river Idle was stained 
with English blood." The fierce king Ethelfrid, indignant 
that any one should venture to resist him, rushed on the 
enemy boldly, but not in disorder, with a select body of 
veteran soldiers, though the troops of Bedwald made a 
brilhant and formidable display, marching in three bodies, 
with fluttering standards and bristling spears and helmets, 
while their numbers greatly exceeded their enemies. The 
king of the Northumbrians, as if he had found an easy 
prey, at once fell upon the close columns of Bedwald, and 
put to the sword Bainer, the king's son, with the 
division he commanded, his own precursors to the shades 
below. Meanwhile Bedwald enraged, but not appalled, by 
this severe loss, stood invincibly £urm with his two remain- 
ing columns. The Northumbrians made vain attempts to 
penetrate them, and Ethelfiid, charging among the enemy's 
squadrons, became separated from his own troops and was 
struck down on a heap of bodies he had slain. The death 
of their king was the signal for universal flight Ethelfrid 
was succeeded by Edwin, who was afterwards converted to 
Christianity ^ So great was the peace in Britain during his 

1 Bampton, in Oxfordshire. 
* See Sax. Chron. * See Bede, iL 16. 



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A.D. 617-628.] WABS OP THE SAXONS. 57 

reign, as far as his dominion extended, that a woman would 
travel with a little child from sea to sea without apprehension 
of danger. The king also caused posts to he fixed on the 
highways near clear fountains, and caused hrazen cups to 
be suspended from them for the refreshment of travellers, 
for which either fear or love seciured a safe respect. En- 
signs were constantly borne before the king ; and on the 
rcNAds that kind of standard which the Bemans call " Tufi&i," 
and the Engli^, Tuff ^, was carried before him wherever 
he went 

[a.d. 626.] In the sixteenth year of Kinigils, he, to- 
gether with Kichelm, made war on Edwin, whom they had 
before attempted to assassinate; but they were deservedly de- 
feated, as will hereafter appear. In the same year Penda the 
Strong began to reign over Mercia. He was ihe son of Wippa, 
Ihe son of Crida, the son of Cinewald, the son of Gnibba, fiie 
son of Icil, the son of Eomer, the son of Angeltheau, the 
son of Ofl&i, the son of Weremund, the son of Witlac, the 
son of Woden. The same year died Sebert, king of Essex, 
whose two sons succeeded him in his kingdom. Not long 
afterwards they engaged in war with Kini^ls and Kichelm, 
bravely, indeed, for their army was inferior in numbers, but 
unfortunately, for both the young men were slain, and of 
their entire army scarcely a man effected his flight over the 
masses of the skin and the torrents of meir blood, 
Sigebert, sumamed *' the little," succeeded them ; and to 
him Sigebert, a holy and virtuous king, who was assassinated 
by his own followers. 

[a.d. 628.] The third year after this, Kinigils and 
Kichelm fought a battle against Penda at Cirencester, 
where a powerfril army was assembled on both sides. Both 
having vowed not to turn their backs on their enemies, each 
firmly maintained its ground until they were happily sepa- 
rated by the setting of the sun. In the morning, as they 
were sensible that, if they renewed the conflict, the destruc- 
tion of both armies must ensue, they listened to moderate 
counsels, and concluded a treaty of peace. 

> Probably a toft of featbers, mentioned by Yigetini, b. il c 5, among 
ifao itandards of the Romans ; and afterwaida nied as an annorial enngn, at 
in the plume of the Prinoe of Wales, and the cretU of the Scropei and other 



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58 HEHST OF HXJimNCUOOK. [BOOK JL. 

[A.D. 088.] In the twenty-tiiiFd year of Kinigils, ISmg 
Edwin was killed by Penda the Strang, as will be fully bbsA 
properly related in Ihe following Book. The year f(dlowing> 
Oswald, a holy king, mounted the throne of the Northnm* 
brians, which he filled nine years. The year following^ 
Kinigils was convarted to the C^iristianfuth, and die next year 
Kichelm was baptized, who r^gned jointljr with his father 
Kinigils, who died that year. Abont Hie same time, E«q»^ 
wald% Idng of the East^Angles, and brother of Bedwakly 
was converted to the true faith ; and when, shortly alter- 
wards, he was slain by Penda the Strong, his brother and 
successor Sigbert was conyerted by Felix, the bishop; 
and the wiiole nation of the East-An^es at the same 
time. Eadbald, king of Kent, died four years «ffcerv»rdii 
[A.D. 640], after a reign of 23 years. He was succeeded 
by Ercombert^, his scm, who reigned 2d years, and 
lived in the lime of Heracleonas, who was emperor tuo 
years. 

[a.d. 643.] Kinigils, after r^gning 81 years, departed 
this life in the time of the Emperor Constaatine, who 
had reigned 33 years, and was the son of the ^Ider 
Constanthie, whose reign lasted haM a year. Kinigil<^ 
was succeeded by his son Kenwald, who held the king- 
dom of Wessex 81 years, as his Either had done. t£i 
same year was slain the holy king Oswald, as will be re- 
lated in the Book following, and a&r him his brother Oswy 
reigned 28 years. Kenwald, in the fifith year of his reign 
[a.d. 645], was attacked by Penda, who had div(»reed tae 
sister, and, not being able to resist him as his father had 
done, he was routed before him in battle, and driven out of 
his Idngdom. Beeovering it three years afiberwards, Kenwald 
granted to Cedred^ his kinsman and ally, three thousand 
Surms, situate near Esesdune^. About thk time, Sigebart; 
a servant of God, succeeded his brother Earpwald, kmg of 
the East-Angles ; whose devotkm was such that, having 
relinquished his kingdom to his cousin Ecgrie, he ent^:ed 

* Or Carpwald. ' Or Erchenbriht. 

> Or Cuthred; <Skr. C%rwi. The Chmnele ca^ tkis ^*iit "Hate 
llioiiiaiid hides of haA by AmMowtu,** which Ingsm wgyeBti may be Cwv- 
ciidmet-heMi^ Oockaouley-hiU, Bedu, fiam CwektiiB, fnOubt of Cathnd. 

* Or ^scendune. 



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AJ). 6ft5.] PBlfBA, EDK» OF MBBGIA. 59 

a monasteiy and received ihe tonsure. After maaov yeun, 
howev^, they compelled him to go out against the king 
Penda; but he would only cany a staff in the battle, in 
which he was slain. The king Ecgric and his whole army 
fell with him. Axma succeeded, who was son of Eni, of 
the royal race, an excellent man, and the father of an excel- 
lent s<m. 

In the thirteenth year of Kenwald*s reign, Penda the 
Strong attacked Anna, the king of the EastAngles, before 
named, to whom the verse of Lucan may be applied' ; 

** Bat Penda for destruction eager boms. 
Free passages and bloodless ways lie aoona." 

Thus he rose with threatening aspect heicxe the doomed 
host of King Anna : — 

^ Rerce as a wolf, by liiinger rendered bold, 
O'erleaps the £niee, and ravins m tlie fold, 
Xanglmg the fleecy flodc, besmeared w^ blood; 
His jaws, his shaggy hide, reek in the gory flood. 
Some he devoars, insatiate; some he tears ; 
Kor one of all the qmyeriiig crowd he spares. 
So mighty Penda, deafiog forions blows, 
Prostrates the Ibremoat of his cowering hm," 

So King Anna and his anny fell qiucUj at the edge of the 
sword, and there was scarcely one who survived. Elhelhere 
succeeded his brother Anna, and was slain in his turn 
by Penda, Ethelwulf succeedii^. The kingdom of Eas^ 
Anglia having been plundered, Penda the Strong withdrew 
his army into Noithumbria. In the fourteenth year of 
Kenwald [a.p. 655], Penda, who had slain others with the 
sword, himself fell by the sword ; as it is written, " He who 
smite^ with the sword, shall perish hj the sword."^ Penda 
was slain by King Oswy near the river Winwed^ whence it 
is said : — 

** At the Wimred was avenged -Ae skitter af Ann, 
The sUofl^ter of the kings Sigbert and Eq^ric^ 
The slai^hter of the kii^ Oawald and Bdwin." 

He was succeeded by his son Peda, the first of the kings oi 

1 Phaxi. ii. 439. > JUHzoi. 52. 

* The river Aire, near Leeds. 



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60 HEMBX OF HUlVTINaDON, [BOOK II. 

Mercia who was baptized ; and the people of Mercia, also 
called Midel-engle, that is, Middle-England, were by him 
and with him converted to the fiEdth. He was slain shortly 
afterwards [a.d. 657], upon which Wulfere, his brother, 
reigned in his stead twenty years ; a king who inherited 
the virtues of his family. At that time also was baptized 
Sigbert, king of Essex, that is, of the East-Saxons, who 
succee'ded to that kingdom upon the death of Sigbert, sur- 
named the Little. 

[a.d. 668.] Kenwald, king of the West-Saxons, was com- 
pelled to fi^t the Britons near Pen \ Por, learning that 
he had been conquered and driven from hijs kingdom by 
Penda the Strong, and concluding that he was ill-prepared for 
war, they mustered a great army, and commenced hostilities 
with great insolence. At the first onset, the English, for a 
time, gave way ; but, as they dreaded flight more tJban death, 
and stood on their defence, the Britons were exhausted, 
their strength melted away hke snow, and, turning their 
backs on the enemy, they fled from Pen even to Pedred^ 
and an incurable wound was inflicted that day on the race 
of Brute {a.d. 661]. Kenwald also, in the twentieth year of 
his reign, engaged in war with Wulfere, king of Mercia, 
who was son of Penda. For the king of Mercia ^ in- 
heriting his father's valour and good fortune, having put to 
flight and expelled the king of Wessex, marched through 
the enemy's country with a numerous army, and reduced 
and took possession of the Isle of Wight, which lies oppo- 
site. By his influence, Ethelwulf, king of Sussex, was first 
converted to the faith ; and, receiving him from the laver of 
baptism, he conferred on him the Isle of Wight in token of 
his adoption ; and that he might convert the inhabitants to 
the faith of Christ, he sent to him Eppa, a presbyter, to 
preach the Gospel : but at first he was unsuccessful. The 
third year afterwards [a.d. 664], on the 3rd of May, 
there was an eclipse of the sun, followed by a grievous 
pestilence both in Britain and Ireland. That year, Erchen- 
bert, king of Kent, together with Deusdedit, archbishop of 
Canterbury, died the same day. After that, Egbert, the 

' See Saxon Chronicle. Fen, near Gillingham, Donet 
' Petherton, on tbe Parret, in Somersetshure, 
s gee Sax. Chron, 



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A.D. 670.] BAXON SINGS. 61 

son of this king, reigned nine yealrs in Kent ; and Egbert 
king, and Oswy king, sent Wighard, the priest, to ;Bk)me, 
that he might be appointed archbishop [a.d. 667]. But, 
Wighard, dying while he was at Borne, the Pope Vitalian, 
consecrated in his stead Theodore the Great, archbishop, 
whose vigorous administration will be noticed in its place. 

[a.d. 670.] In the twenty-ninth year of the reign of Ken- 
wald, Hie great king of Northumbria, Oswy, fell sick and 
died. Egfert, his son, who succeeded him, reigned fifteen 
years. Kenwald himself died in the thirty-first year of his 
reign [a.d. 672] • Upon his death, his wife Sexburgh, reigned 
one year. The preceding year, flights of birds in England 
encountered each other in a desperate fight. The same 
occurrence was repeated in my own time in Normandy 
during the reign of Henry [a.d. 1119], who is the first 
of the kings of England so named, and is thus distinguished 
from any fiiture king of the same name. Birds were dis- 
tinctly seen engaged in flight near Bouen, in such 
numbers that myriads of their dead bodies were found ; 
and the foreign birds appeared to have been put to flight 
This prodigy was considered to portend the battle between 
Heniy, sovereign Lord of England and Normandy, and 
Lewis, son of PhiUp, king of France, in which the powerful 
King Henry was victorious, and Lewis was defeated and put 
to flight^ 

During Sexburgh*s short reign, Egbert, king of Kent, 
died, and was succeeded by his son Lothaire, who reigned 
twelve years. In his time, Theodore the archbishop held 
a council at Thetford^ Escwin also succeeded to the throne 
of Essex, but his reign was cut short by premature death. 
In his second year, however, he had a terrible battle vdth 
Wulfere, king of the Mercians^. [a.d. 676.] Inheriting the 
valour of his father and grandfather, the Mercian king had 
rather the better of it in the conflict, though both armies 
were severely handled, and on either side many thousand 
soldiers were sent to the shades below. We are led to reflect 
bow worthless are human achievements, how perishable 
^^ warlike triumphs of kings and nobles, when we find that, 

^ The battle of Noyon, in which Henry was nearly killed by Crispin, a 
Neman officer. 
» Or " Heortford." » See Sax, Chron. 



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n HENBT «r HUMXIHGDON [BOOK H. 

of the two kings, vfbo, for the sake of Tedn pomp and empty 
glosy, inflicted such gnerous sn£Ferings on their countiy, 
tike one, Wulfere, died firom disease the same year, the other 
tiie year following. Ethebed sneceeded him in the ki^- 
dom of Mercia. Escwin's reign in Wessex lasted only two 
years: Eentwin, who succeeded him, reigned nine years. 
The aame year, Ethelred, the new king of Mercia, engaged 
in an expedition against Lothaire, king of Kent; rspoD. 
which Lothaire, terrified hy the herBdittoy renown of the 
Mercian king, dirunk from his approadi, and did not 
ventmre to march against him. Etiielred, therefore, de- 
stroyed ijtke city of Rochester, and, having overrun the 
whole of Kent, retired with an enormous hooty. 

[a.d. 678.] In the third year of King Kentwin, a comet 
was seen during three months, which eveiy morning shone 
with a hri^tness like tliat of the sim. The year following, 
Egfert, king of Northumbria, and Etheked, king of Mercia, 
had a fierce battle near the Trent; in which was slain 
Alwin, brother of Egfert, a young noble ^ dear to the peo;^ 
of both kingdoms, inasmudi as Ethelred had married his 
sister Osrith. It seemed now that the seeds were sown of 
a fierce contest and protracted hostilities between the two 
waiiike nations and kings ; but Theodore, a prdate beloved 
of God, by divine assistance succeeded by his salutaiy 
counsels in altogether extinguishing the flames ^wdiich 
tiireatened to burst forth, so that the kings and people on 
both sides were appeased, vdthout the forfeiture of a single 
life for the death of the brother of the Northimibrian king, 
whose revenge was satisfied by the payment of the r^u- 
lated fine. For a long time ai^;erwards the treaty of peace 
concluded between the two kings and their respective king- 
doms continued unbroken. The same year died ^theldrida, 
who was married to King Egfert, but continued to observe 
her vow of perpetual virginity. 

[jLD. 680.] In the seventh year of his reign, K^itwin 
aagaged in war v^ith the Britons, who, making a feeble de- 
fence, were furiousty driyen with fire and sw^ as far as 
the sea. About th& time a coundl was held at Hatfidd, 
by Theodore the archbishop. After the death of Kentwin, 
dedwalla became king of Wessex [a.d. 685], who eaiued 
1 "TheEtheling." 



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AJ>. 0B5.] THE HISFTABOHT C^ORISTIANIZED. 6S 

the conquered Ida of Wig^t to be conYerted to the 
M&, to which he himself became a conyert AH the 
kmgs of England, theiefoie, were now believeis, and all 
parts oi the land were blessed with the li^t and grace of' 
Ofarist 

In tiiiis Book, which mi^t have for its title, <* Of the 
azmal of the English,*' I have traced* so to speak, the 
labyrinth of English affairs while the people were still 
heatiMns, bringing Hiem down from the time of tiie first 
inrasion of Britain by the Saxons, until each of the king- 
doms conld boast of tiiieir illustrious kings, and each of i£e 
kings were illuminated by the gl(»ious light of the gospeL 
And here I bring to a dose the present Book, which, 
tiiough the nanatiTe is contained in a few words, yet 
describes a long succession of events, achievements, and 
WBiB. In the Book foUowing, I propose to relate particu- 
larly who were the missionaries, by what exhortations, by 
tduKt miracles, by what preaching, what kings, and in what 
order, our countrymen were converted to the faith of the 
L<Mrd. 

The wars -winch have be^i described were carried 
on during the reigns of fourteen emperors, comprising 
a period of about dl8 years: in the time <^ Mardan, 
who reigned 7 years; of Leo, who reigned 17 years; 
of Zeno, who also rdgned 17 years ; of Anastasius, who 
reigned 18 years; of Justin the elder, who reigned 8 
jears; of Justinian the elder, who reigned 88 years; of 
Justin the "younger, who reigned 11 years; of Tiberius, 
who rdgned 7 years; of Maurice, who reigned 21 years; 
of Hioeas, who reigned 8 years ; of Heradius, who reigned 
26 years ; of Heracleon, who reigned 2 years ; of Constan- 
tine, who reigned half a year; and of ConstaiiLtine, his son, 
who reigned 88 years. 

I now propose to collect the names of all the kings of 
England to this SBra, which are scattered throughout the 
history, in short tables referring to each kingdom ; which, 
it appears to me, so far from being tedious, will be dear 
and satisflEictory to the reader^ 

1 <* Is <3i]i fMiifitibticm, t]M «»tal of tac& wmi neithor amaf^ 
nor with tbe tratk Tbe kingt of Kmt^ from Hcngiit to BiO^xtd, fiUoA a 



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ti HBNBT OF HUNnNGDON. [BOOK U, 

The following are the kings of Kent, in succession : — 

Hengist» the first king, was 8 years in making the con- 
quest, and reigned afterwards 32 years ; Esc his son reigned 
gloriously 34 years ; Octa reigned obscurely about 20 years ; 
Irmiric feigned in like manner about 25 years ; Etbelbert, 
son of Irmiric, and the first Christian king, had a glorious 
reign of 66 years ; Eadbald, 34 ; Erchenbert, 84 ; Egbert, 
d ; Lothaire, the ninth king, 12. 

The following are the kings of Wessex, in succession : — 

The first king Cerdic, fi-om the twentieth year after the 
arrival of the Saxons, reigned 17 years; Kenric, son of 
Cerdic, reigned 26 years ; Ceaulin, son of Kenric, reigned 
30 years ; Ceolric, son of Cteaulin, reigned 6 years ; Ceolwulf, 
son of Cutha, brother of Ceaulin, reigned 14 years ; Kini- 
gils, son of Ceola, son of Cutha, reigned 31 years, the first 
who was converted to the faith ; Kenwald, son of Kinigils, 
also reigned 31 years ; Sexburgh, wife of Kenwald, reigned 
. year; Escwin, son of Kenwald, reigned 2 years; Ken- 
wId. kinsman of Escwin, reigned 9 years. 

Tab fo^ 3wing are the kings of Essex, in succession : — 

Erchenwin, &e first king; Slede; Sebert, first received 
the faith ; Sigebert ; Sibert ; Swithelm ; Sebbi ; Sigard. 

The following are the kings of Northumbria, in succes- 
sion : — 

Ida, the first king ; JEHa; Ethelfert; Edwin, first received 
thefeith; Oswald; Oswy; Egfert 

The following are the kings of East-Anglia, in succes- 
sion : — 

Uffa, the first king; Titulus; Eedwald; Erwald, first 
received the faith; Sigebert; Ecgric; Anna; Ethelhere; 
Ethelwulf ; Aldulf. 

The following are the kings of Mercia, in succession : — 

Crida, the first; Wippa; Ceorl; Penda; Peda, first re- 
ceived the faith; Wulfhere; Ethelred. 

The following are the kings of Sussex, in order : — 

^lla, the first king ; Scisse. 

The other kings of Sussex are unknown, through the 
paucity of their chroniclers, or the obscurity of their annals, 

period of 376 yean; but according to Henry of Huntingdon^ their lagDB 
lasted either 867 or 897 yean ; and lo of the rest."— Peff-M. 



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A.D. 685.] coNCLxmnra reflections. 65^ 

except the king Ethelwold, who is justly had in remembrance, 
because he was the first who adopted the Christian faith. 
Let this then sufl&ce. And now, reader, observe and reflect 
how soon great names are lost in oblivion ; and since there 
is nothing enduring in this world, seek, I pray you, carefully 
to obtain a kingdom and treasure which will not fail, a 
name and honour which shall not pass away, a memorial 
and glory which shall never grow old. To meditate on thili 
is the highest wisdom, to attain it the highest prudence, to 
enjoy it the highest feUcity. 



>il 



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or HranoMDOK. [book bx. 



BOOK in.* 

In the year of grace 582, Maurice, the fi%-fcnirth of the 
Boman emperors from Augustas, began his reign. In the 
fourteenth year of this prince, about 160 years after the 
arrival of the Saxons in England [a.d. 696], Gregory, the 
servant of God, commissioned Augustine, wi& several other 
monks, to preach the gospel to the English nation^. In 
obedience to the Pope's commands, they proceeded on their 
journey, and had arrived in the neighbourhood of Britain, 
when they became so alarmed for their safety among a 
barbarous people, of whose very language they were igno- 
rant, that tiiey determined to abandon the imdertaking and 
return to Rome. In short, they sent back Augustine, who 
was to have been consecrated bishop in case they were 
received by the English, that he might humbly entreat 
their release from the obligation to prosecute so perilous, 
so toilsome, and so hopeless a mission. In reply, tiie Pope 
addressed to them an epistle, exhorting them to proceed in 
the work confided to them, in reliance on the word of God, 
and to put their trust in his divine aid. The purport of 
this letter was as follows : — 

" Gregory, the servant of the servants of God, to the servants 
of our Lord. 

" Forasmuch as it would have been better not to begin a 

^ In this tliird Book, Henry of Huntingdon relates the conyersion t» 
Christianity of the Angles and Saxons settled in England. It is wholly an 
abridgment of Bede's Ecclesiastical History; but by reducing it to order, 
and describing the conversion of the seyeral kingdoms of the Heptarchy 
seriaUm, confining his nanatiTe to the principal eyents, he has avoided the 
prolixity and coupon of Bede's History. The Archdeacon has better pre- 
seryed the thread of his narratiye, by judiciously omitting, in general, to 
insert the accounts of the miracles :with which the history of Bede is largely 
interspersed. These he reserved for a separate Book. On the other hand^ 
our historian sometimes indulges his rhetorical vein in embellishing and ex- 
patiating oit incidents which Bede relates simply and succinctly. 

' Bede'0 Bed. Hilt, book I c 28. 



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good watk, ^ma ia iSsask of mtih)Gbr«wm)^ htm tiatat whidi 
has been begtm, it bdiOY€» you, my 'wtil-b^oTed sons^ to 
fi^ML H^ good work -wtmh hy ihe bdp of the Lord you 
ha?e no w enteved on. Let, therefore, neither the toil of the 
jcramey, nor ^!ie tongues of e^itspeaiking rneaHy deter you, 
hot p^i»st mtb all perseveranee and mth aE zeal in what 
you hme imdertakai by Hie will ol God, knowing that the 
greater Ihe sofifeving the greater is the glory of the et^nal 
reward. "When, tiierefoBe, Augostiiiift your ddef^ whom we 
alBo appoint your Abbot, returns to yon, hiunbly obey him 
in all things ; being assured that whatever ye shall do by 
his direction w^ m all respects be peofitabl^ to your souls. 
Mi^ Almighty God defend you with has gracious assistance, 
and grant that I may behold the fruits of your labours in 
the heavenly country; inasmuch as ahhough it is not per- 
mitted me to labour with you, I shall be found with you in 
the joys of the i^eward, because I am willing to partake of 
your labours. God have you in his holy lj»eping, my well- 
bekryed sons ! Dated on the tenth of the kalends of August, 
in the fourteenth year of the reign of our Lord Matmtius^ 
Tiberius, the most pious Augustus ; and in the fourteenth 
indietion." 

Beassured by this message from the holy Father, the mis- 
skmaries pursued their journey to Britain ^ At &at time 
Ethelbert was king of Kent, and possessed <rf ^eat power ; 
for he had ^srtended the frontier of his dominuHis to the 
Humber, a great river whdch is the boondaiy between the 
southern and n^orthem tribes of the Sasims. On the eastern 
side of Kent Mes Thanet, an iedaiid of considerab^ s^ 
eontasning after the English way of reckoning 600 &miliesv 
The river Wantsum, which sepamtes it from the main-land, 
is abocut three fdrlongs wide, and is todable in two places 
c«i§f , bo^ ends of it benxg estnarres. Angustsne, the ser- 
-vant of God, with his companions, being, as i& reported, 
nearly froty m«n, having landed en this island, they an^ 
nomieed to the king hj their ia^erpretexs^ that they were 
eome hom Eome, and were besrero of a joyfid messagB^ 
whieh bq^ond all douit assnFol to those who oiheyed it 

> Be€U^bMki.2& 

F 3 



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68 HKNET OF HUNTINGDON. [bOOK IH. 

eternal joys in heaven, and an everlasting kingdom with the 
living and true God. The King, upon hearing this, com- 
manded them to remain in the island in which they had 
landed, where they should he supphed with all things 
necessary, till such time as he should consider how he 
should deal with them. For he had some cognizance of 
the Christian religion, his wife, a princess of the nation of 
the Franks, Bertha hy name, heing a Christian : having heen 
given to him by her parents upon the express condition, 
Qiat she should have full liberty to preserve her feith in- 
violate, and to practise the rites of her rehgion under the 
ministration of Luidhard, a bishop who attended her. In a 
few days time the King crossed over to the island, and, seat 
ing himself in the open air, ordered Augustine and his 
companions to be invited to a conference with him. For 
he was cautious not to meet them in any house, lest, accord- 
ing to an ancient superstition, if they practised any magical 
arts, they might unawares gain an advantage over him. 
But they came endowed with divine, not with magical virtue, 
a silver cross and a picture of Our Lord and Savioinr being 
carried before them as their ensigns, while they chanted 
litanies making supplications to God for the eternal salva- 
tion of themselves, and of those for whom and to whom 
they were come. By the King's command, they then sat 
down and preached to him and his attendants, and all who 
were present, the word of life. After which the King thus 
replied : — " Your words and the promises you hold out to 
us are indeed specious ; but as much as they are a novelty 
and hard t>f comprehension, I cannot assent to them, for- 
saking that which I have so long held in common with the 
whole English nation. But because you have travelled 
hither from a far distant country, and, as far as I can judge, 
for the purpose of communicating to us the benefit of what 
you believe to be excellent and true, so far from molest- 
ing you, it is our wish to receive you with generous hospi- 
tality, and to take care you are supplied with whatever is 
necessary for yoiur subsistence. Nor do we prohibit you 
from converting all whom you are able to persuade by your 
preaching to the beUef of your reUgion." 
Acc(»:dingly he assigned them a residence in the city of 



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A.D. 597.] ST. AUGUSTINE ENTERS CANTERBURY. 69 

Canterbuiy, which was the metropolis of all his dominions, 
and, pursuant to his promise, while he made provision for 
their maintenance, did not withhold the liberty of preaching. 

It is reported that as they drew near to the city, carrying, 
according to their custom, the holy cross and the image of our 
Sovereign Lord and King Jesus Christ, they sung in concert 
this litany : " We beseech thee, O Lord, of thy infinite 
inercy, that thy wrath and thy anger be turned away from 
this city, and from us thy holy family, notwithstanding we 
have sinned against thee. Hsdlelujah ! " 

As soon as they were settled within the city^, they devoted 
themselves to the course of life practised in the primitive 
church from apostolical times, and by their heavenly-minded 
frame and conversation, and the sweetness of ^eir doc- 
trine, brought many to believe and be baptized. They ad- 
ministered baptism and said mass in the church of St. 
Martin^, to the east of the city built in former times by the 
Britons, in which the Queen Bertha, already mentioned, had 
been accustomed to pray. But when the King, attracted, 
like others, by the pure life of these holy men, and by the 
miracles they wrought, became a convert to the faith, great 
numbers were added to the church of Christ. But though 
he embraced these with more affection, yet he compelled 
none to embrace Christianity ; for he had learnt from the 
authors of his own Salvation, that the service of Christ 
ought to be voluntary, and not by compulsion. Nor was it 
long before he granted them a fixed abode, and conferred 
on them whatever possessions their new society required. 
And now Augustine, the man of God, repaired to Aries, 
and was consecrated archbishop by JEtherius, archbishop of 
that city, in compliance with the command of our Lord the 
Pope. On his return to Britain, he sent to Kome Lauren- 
tius the priest, by whom he transmitted to the Pontiff ac- 
counts of what had taken place, and also consulted him as 
to his future conduct, by submitting to him nine questions ; 
for the answers given to which by the Pope, as they are 

» Bede, book I 25, 26. 

' The chuich of St. Martin, near Canterbury, which has been recently 
restored, preienti an appearance of great antiquity ; and if the walls and 
foundations are not the identical structure here mentioned, the masonry is 
composed of the same materials, Soman bricks being worked up in it» 



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no HENBT OF rannnraMm. [book m. 

BoamwtMt long, lihe reader is referred te the books kivhick 
tbe eedesiaetieal canons and deeroes ane coiitainod. 

{jjD, 601.] ^ Mffl^over, fhe aame Pope Gbsogoiy Bent fixun 
Borne at the same time to Aiigusiiaie ihe Indskoip seiFeral 
^Uow-labovrers «ad miaiflteis c^ tiie wood, of vhogoi the 
ficBt and bhief weve MeUttus, Jt»tii8, Pauliiiiis, and Bufiaonui; 
and -with ^em sacred vesaeb and vestnaentB, boo^, aed 
tiie necesaaiy oasamentfi for tiie dhurches. He sent alao a 
letter, of wb^ tiie foUonrmg is a copy: — 

" To his most revermid and holy brother ami fdHaw-hishojp 
Aajgwiine^ Qregwy, ^ servcuU of d^ servamiB of ^ML 

** AltfaoQ^ we aee aasored that the tinq>eakaUe rewards 
of ihe eternal kingdom ave reserved for those who labour 
&r Almighty God^ yet it k requisite d»at we imvest them 
vith honouniible ^a^ictions, to the end tha/t by this revavd 
tkey may be qualified for nuHie abandaat labours in Hie 
perfoimanoe of Ifti^spiiataaiAuty. And mnegaiMl that the 
nevly-fonnded F4[igtiiifa chvrdi has been brought to ezTjoy 
Itae ^Yonr oi Almighty God, by his meiey Bod yoor labours, 
we ^cBJOt yon the nae of Ihe pall in the aame dudiig the 
perfonnance only ^ Ihe sendee of tibe amoB : so that jsoa 
oidaia tvsdve bishc^s in so many several sees who shall be 
sobjeotio your jurttdictioa. Thus ihe bishop of Loiklan^ 
shall &>r ihe &tui» always be eonseerated by his own synod, 
waA will receive the honour of the pall &om tiiis holy and 
apostolical see, wbkh, by tiie grace of God, I now senile. 
But we win have you sand to York a bishop, to be chosen 

^ It vei^ appear to knee been P<^ Giegory's inteafion that, after the 
dealh of St Augaitine at least, London should be the metropolitan see 
t»f the south of E^land, «id York of Hit north, as those two cities were in 
the Ibnes of ikt ancient Bnlish ohnooSi Angnstine hiiaself is said, by 
Parher, in lus Antiquities of Britain, to hare been consecrated bf the generd 
title of "BiAoip iS. the EiyUsh." This, however^ was contrary to the 
primitiye and usual custom which deri:red the tide of a bishop from some 
particular city. We i3iall find presentiy iSiat St Augustine is said to ha^e 
fixed the eps«)pal seat of himself aaid his successors in Christ Chundt, tbeo, 
as it still is, the cathedral of Canterbury. In compliance, therefore, with 
this designation, and from respect to St Augustine's msaiory, as iuudng there 
hb— red aad govemed, as "mU as probably from the circumstance «f that 
«ky baiag the capital of the £rat and greatest of the AngkhSaxon luQg- 
dona, tke onginaldakas of London and the rascDpt of Peps Qsobgfttj woe 
disregarded, aiid. th« pimaey vai fixed at Canterlmry. 



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JLD. (^7.] POPE CBCBOQBT's XETTEB !ED ST. AUGUSTINE. 71 

«Dd (xniaiiied by you, so that, if that city^, with the places 
m its ziei^i]K)urhood, shall receiTe me word of Ood, 
amch bidiop sludl also ordain twelye suffiragans, and have 
BMAropolhan nak. Oa him also, if we live, it is our design, 
by the help of God, to confer the pallimn, and yet we mil 
Ittire him to submit to your aathori^. But after your de- 
ense, he shall so preside over the bishops he shall ordsdn, 
as te be no wise subject to the jurisdiction of the bi^op of 
LtCMidon. But for the ^rturo let Ihe distinction of rank 
bctnueen the bishops of the cities of London and York be 
this, that he shall hare the preoedenoe who is first ordained. 

^'Let thom, howeerm*, toke order with unanimity, by 
common counsel and uniform proceedings, for whatever is 
to be done, with Christian zeal. Let them determine rightly, 
ajul what they detonnine let 1i\em cany into execution 
wiUJiout disagnsement with eadi other. Meanwhile, you, 
my brother, shall have subject to you in our Lord Jesus 
CJurist not only the bishops who shall be ordained by you, 
aad those who shall be ordained by the bishop of York, 
but all the priests in Biitain, to the end that from your 
mouth and your example of a holy life they may be taught 
ix>th to bdU^ righdy and to live well, and thus fuUSUing 
their office with a true Mth and right conversation, they 
may, when it shall please the Lord, attain to the heavenly 
kingdom. May God have you, most reverend brother, in 
Ms safe keeping. 

" Dated the 10th of the Kalends of July, in the 17th year 
of the reign of 4Mir Loni Manricius Tiberius, most pious 
Augustus." 

While the before-named delegates were on their way to 
Britaui, the Apostolical Father sent after them letters, 
wherein he plainly shows how concerned he was for the 
^iritual wd&EPe of cur nation^. Hius he wrote : — 

'* To his mott bdoved son MeiUtttSy the Ahhot ; Gregory the 
senmU of the Mnumts «f God. 

*' Since the dq»rture of those we assodated with you, 
-me have been very anxious because no tidings have readied 
KU of the mceeos of your journey. Wiien, however, Al- 

iBede,boflki.^. 



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72 HENBY OP HUNTINGDON. [boOK IH. 

mighty God shall have conducted you safely to the most 
reverend Bishop Augustin, our brother, tell him what, after 
long deUberation on English afl&drs, I have determined 
upon, viz. that the temples of idols in that nation ought 
by no means to be pulled down ; but let the idols that are 
in them be destroyed; let holy water be consecrated and 
sprinkled in the said temples ; let altars be nused and relics 
deposited under them. For if these temples are well built, 
it is requisite that they be converted from the worship of 
devils to the service of the true God; that the people 
seeing that their temples are not destroyed may cast out 
error from their hearts, and knowing and adoring the true 
God, may the more familiarly resort to places at which they 
have been used to worship. And inasmuch as they have 
been accustomed to slaughter many oxen in their sacrifices 
to devils, some solemnity ought to be substituted for this : 
on the anniversary of the feast of dedication, or the nativi- 
ties of the holy martyrs whose relics are there deposited, 
they may erect booths with the boughs of trees round those 
churches which have been converted fix)m temples, and 
celebrate the commemoration with religious feasting. Let 
them no more oflfer victims to the devil, but slaughter cattle 
to the praise of God in their eating, rendering thanks in 
their fidness to the Giver of all things ; that so while some 
fleshly enjoyments are outwardly permitted, they may more 
readily be moved to inward and spiritual joys. For it is, 
doubtless, impossible to extinguish the desire for such in- 
dulgences from obdurate minds, and he who endeavours to 
mount to a lofty summit, ascends by degrees or steps, and 
not by leaps. Thus tiie Lord revealed himself to the 
people of Israel in Egypt ; but, permitting the use of sacri- 
fices, He reserved to his own worship what before they 
were accustomed to oflfer to devils ; commanding them to 
sacrifice animals in the worship of Himself, to the end that, 
changing their hearts, one thing in sacrifice they might 
abolish, another they might retain; that although the 
animals were the same they were wont to oflfer, yet now 
being oflfered to God and not to idols, the sacrifices were no 
longer the same. These things, beloved, we require you to 
commimicate to our brother aforesaid, that he being now 



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jLD. 601.] gbeooby's letteb bespeoting miracles. 73 

present on the spot may consider how he may order all 
things. May God have you, most heloved son, in his holy 
keeping. 

" Dated this 15th of the Kalends of July, in the 19th 
year of the reign of the Emperor our Sovereign Lord Mau- 
ricius Tiberius, most pious Emperor; the 18th year after 
the consulship of our said Lord; the fourth indiction." 

At the same time he sent Augustine a letter ^ concerning 
miracles wrought by him, warning him against being puflfed 
up by reason of them. The letter was in these words : — 

" I learn, most, dearly beloved brother, that Almighty 
God works miracles by your hands in the midst of the 
nation which it has been his will to choose for himself. 
Wherefore it is necessaiy that you rejoice with trembling, 
and fear in rejoicing for this heavenly gift ; that you should 
rejoice because the souls of the English are by outward 
signs drawn to inward grace; but that you should fear, lest, 
amidst the miracles which are wrought, the weak mind be 
lifted up with presumption, and as it is externally raised to 
honour, it may thence inwardly fall through vain glory. 
For we must call to mind that when the disciples returned 
rejoicing from preaching the word, and said to their 
heavenly Master, * Lord, in thy name, even the devils are 
subject to us,* they were forthwith told, * Eejoice not for this, 
but rather rejoice for that your names are written in heaven.* 
For they fixed their thoughts on selfish and temporal joy 
while they rejoiced in miracles, but they were recalled from 
rejoicing in tihemselves to joy for others, from transitory to 
eternal joys, when it was said, * Eejoice for this, that your 
names are written in heaven.' For not all the elect work 
miracles, and yet the names of all are written in heaven.' 
For the disciples of the truth ought not to rejoice save for 
the good which they have in common with others, and their 
enjoyment of which is without end. 

** It remains, therefore, brother most beloved, that amidst 
those outward signs, which by the operation of the Lord 
you openly work, you inwardly judge yourself and clearly 
understand both what you are yourself, and how much grace 
there is in that nation for whose conversion you have even 
received the gift of working miracles. And if you remem- 
1 Bede, book i. 81. 



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74 MEMir ov WDKms^ocBL {book m. 

her iSbat yon lame at anj time offaeded our Creator, eaidaer 
by -winA or deed, yon -wiR coirtiimaHy call these things to 
mind, that the memory of your guilt may suppross the 
fsride idnth nsee in your heart ; and wihaiewer you siiall 
rao^Ye, or have reeeiTsd, in leeiatioii to woiidng miracles, 
lint you consider &e saaie not as eouiiBrred on you, bat on 
those ferinlioBe saltation these gi&s hare been Toodisafed 
10 you." 

¥ape OivgOfy sent a letter also to King Eth^bertS wiib 
presents of fvrious kinds, diat 1m might hcoicmr wiih worldly 
offiarings him wlu«i he had been the means of endowing 
mkh spiiitual blessangs : — 

^ Tq th$ mmt iUiuiriatm lard, amd our mwt ^KtHlenl jow, 
EauiB)mty Ttms of ihs Ens/Uth, Gregory, bishop, 

" It is for iMs purpose that Afanighty God piomotos ihe 
good to be rukxs of liiye people, that by them fie may impart 
the bounties of his merey to tl»>8e o^er idiiom they are set 
This we know to hsF« been done in tilie £ngli^ nation 
Qveat whom your majesty was placed in ovder that l^ means 
of tiie ^yilege which has been ipouchsafed to ns, heavenly 
b^iefits maj be c onfer red on the pec^le your subjects. 
Vremerve, therefove, witii care, my illustrious son, the grace 
wMcfa has been divin^y gbwn you, and l»6ten to ext^id 
ihe Ohristian hkth amfong the nactions subject to your role. 
Let Ihe eamestaess of 3^our zeal for their couT^ersion be 
iBfcreased ; suppress d^ worship of idols, overdirow Iheir 
temples ; edify tiie minds of yoor siibjects, «i!id purify iheir 
morals by ezhortati<ni, by tibieat^m^, by gendeoess, by 
correction, and by setting them an example of good con- 
duct, that you may have your iteward in heaven £K>m Him 
whose name and whose Imowledge you shali spread abroad 
^^n earth. For Ble will rendK^ your name gknious eren 
to foture generations, whose honour you seek and defend 
among the nations. 

'' For thus in <dd tunes Oonstantine, the most pious 
emperor of Eome, i^co^raing the commonrwealjtk &K)m the 
perverted ivofrehkp oiSfered to idols, subjected it, toigether 
with himseif, to Almighly God and our Lord Jesus Ohri^, 
md, was wi^ his whole heart and whh^ the nations his 

> Bedi^ book i B2. 



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AS). Ml.] LET13S iCO sura ETmBKSXBT. 75 

:«il)9ects oonveitei to flinau Whence k flowed tbift; Hie 
^L(xy^ oi ihk prinoe ixaBBoeoA&d that &£ IbiiniMr «mpei0rs, 
cobd ike te mtieii exodled fais piBdeoeBsors in penown as he 
^M in good -vrarks. Now, ^emhre, let yi^imt iilwiitrwrnmeas 
hui^n lo mfase ihe kno'wiedge of ih» one God, Ftttiier, 
Sob, and Holy Spnit, among; die kange mnd people that tre 
sdbjeet to jou, that yon may botik snipesB the i^nner kinga 
of your nation in fame and Bfterit, and the more yon ndpe 
jMray the sins «f other nen among yonr subjects, by so 
wendi Ihe mom you may ifind secur^ against your own 
cinB befoiQ the teisible judgment ^ Almighty God. 

" Our most reTarend brother Augustine, your bishop, is 
veil io^imned hi Ihe nuHiastle rules, ^ili of the knowledge 
«f the Holy Bd^s^tmres, and by die grade ^ God endi^ 
wkh good works; ^nhatever ctdmonitions, iheretoe, yon 
receive &^om him, hear inHingly, de^ontly follow, and cax^ 
faHy retain in your memory. For if yon listen to him in 
ivhat he ^eaks for AksBA^i^ God, he wiM be more readily 
heavd by Almi^bly God when he prays lor you. But if 
(which God foihidl) yon disregard his words, how «fai 
Aimighly God listen to Iriin on your bdia^ whom you 
B^ect to hear for God's safce? Unite yoars<^, tha:«fore, 
wMbl him in Ihe ietrvafOT of faith with all your mind, and in 
Issuance on that grace whidi has been diTm^y conmium- 
oftted to you tiirongh him ; furtiier has endeayours that he 
may make you a partakBr of this kingdom whose faith yon 
canse to be received and m^i^fca^Eied in yonr own. 

" Mioreo¥^, we woiM hare you, illisstrions king, to 
«nderstand that as we find in Hdj Smpture £rom the 
^mrdB of Ihe Almi^ly Lord, th»t ^ end of the present 
woild is near, and the kiagdom of the saints which can 
never end is about to come. But as this end of tbe world 
draws near, many things are st hand whidi have not before 
happened, as changes in ihe air, terrible signs in ihe 
heavens, t^Dopests avA oi Ihe coanmon order o£ tibie seasons, 
ivars, famines, pcrtakneee, eadh^poakes in varions placai ; 
flfl which wfll not indeed happen in our dm, but a^ior our 
days all will come to pass. If yon, then, nnd any of these 
dungs to happen In your country, let not your mind he any 
way disturbed, for these tokens of the end of the worid ju« 
sent before in order that we may he «areM iar our oouls, 



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76 HENBY OP HUNTINGDON. [BOOK m. 

looking for the hour of our deatih, and that we may be 
found prepared by good works to meet the impending judg- 
ment. Thus much, my illustrious son, I have now shortly 
spoken, that when the faith of Christ shall have further 
increased in your kingdom, our discourse to you may grow 
more full, and it will be our pleasure to say the more, in 
proportion as the joys of our heart for the entire conversion, 
of your people are multiplied. 

" I have sent you some presents, which are small indeed^ 
but which will not be trifling if tliey are accepted by you 
accompanied with the benediction of the blessed apostle 
Peter, May Almighty God perfect his grace which he has 
begun in you, prolonging your life here for the course of 
many years, and after a lengthened period receive you inta 
the society of the blessed in the heavenly country. May 
the divine favour preserve your excellency in safety. 

" Given the 10^ day of the Kalends of July, in the 19th 
year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord Maiuitius Tiberius, 
our most pious Emperor, in the 18th year after the consul- 
ship of our said Lord ; the fourth indiction." 

There had been a church built fonnerly by the Koman 
Christians in what was now become the royal city^. This 
church Augustine dedicated to the honoiu: of our blessed 
Saviour^, and made it the episcopal seat of himself and his 
successors. The King also erected to the east of the city 
the church of St. Peter and St. Paul, in which the bodies 
of the archbishops of Canterbury and the kings of Kent 
might be buried. The first abbot of this church was the 
priest Peter ^, who, having been sent ambassador to France, 
was drowned in a creek of the sea which is called Amfleat*, 

* Bede^ book i. 33. 

^ Christ Church, still the cathedral of Canterbury. The oldest part of 
the present structure was founded in 1085, on the site of the ancient Roman- 
British church, restored by St. Augustine. 

^ ' Henry of Huntingdon does not, except by naming the first abbot, men- 
tion, as Bede does, the monastery which was attached to this church, and 
founded at the same time by Ethelbert It was afterwards called St. Au- 
gustine's Abbey, and was for many ages one of the most magnificent and 
celebrated in the kingdom. After being ruined and long desecrated, the 
Bite, with part of the remains, has recenSy been restored to sacred uses, as 
a missionary college. 

* Ambleteuse^ near Boulogne. 



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A.D. 605.] DEATH AND CHARACTEB OF OBEGOBT THE GKBAT. 77 

and being unknown was hiunbly interred by the inhabitants 
of the place. But Ahnighty God, to show the merit of such 
a man, caused a Ught from heaven to appear over his grave 
every night, until the neighbours noticing it imderstood 
that he who was there biuied was a holy man, and making 
inquiries who and whence he was, they disinterred the 
body, and carried it to the city of Boulogne, where they 
deposited it in the church with the honour due to so great 
ft person. 

In the year of grace 605, the second of the reign of the 
Emperor Phocas, Pope Gregory the Great exchanged this 
life for that which is true^. He was a Boman by nation 
and noble by birth, but, surrendering the wealth attached 
to his rank, he devoted himself to a monastic life. In 
course of time, however, he was withdrawn from his 
monastery and sent to Constantinople as his surrogate by 
Pope Felix^. While there he conunenced his commenta- 
ries on the Book of Job, which he completed after he 
became pope. While there he also refuted the Eutychian 
heresy in the presence of the emperor^. He composed 
also an excellent book called "The Pastoral," and fovir 
books of Dialogues, and forty Homilies ; with an explana- 
tion of the first and last parts of the prophecy of Ezekiel. 
Through all his youth he was tormented with pains in the 
bowels, and weakness of the stomach, and was constantly 
suffering from a slow fever. Thus much may be said of 
bis immortal genius, which could not be restrained by such 
severe bodily pain. Other popes busied themselves in 
embellishing churches; but Gregory bestowed all wealth 
on the poor; so that the words of holy Job may be applied 
to him : — " When the ear heard me, then it blessed me ; 
and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me : because 
I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him 
that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was 
ready to perish came upon me : and I caused the widow's 
heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness and clothed 

1 Bede, book u. 1. 

* Felix ly. was Bishop of Borne a.d. 526. 

^ Bede calls him " Tiberini Oonstantine," but there was no such emperor. 
St. Gregory was at Constantinople in the early part of the reign of Jua^ 



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lajnelf as wi^ a ganwmt, ansk avf jvilace was: as & iiadeau 
I ii«g flQ 6ye to t^e b&id, and a foot ta the kme. I wag s 
fadber of the pooc, and the eaiose iridefe I knefvr mot I ctti- 
gusOj searched out. I haike tlie janfs of tJie widced, and 
{^oeked tiie picj frcnn his teeth." AjmE a lattAe after hm 
says : — *' If I have disregarded Hie desire of the poor, aad 
hfl^e caiBsed the eyes of &e widow to wmt in wn, if I haif« 
eaten my morsel selfishly, and Ihe £edlieiless hath oot par- 
taken thereof with me, for from my youth pity grew «p 
with me, and horn mj mother's womb h oame fc»rth with 
me."' 

Among other fidngs TdikiL this holy pope did^ be eaosofll 
masses to be celeioated 0¥er the relics of St. Plster and 
St Paol; and ion the service of the moss he added tivee 
sentences of t^e fairest perfection : — ^* Dispose our da)jf» 
in thy peaee; preserve us firom etevnal damnatRm; and 
rank us in the number of thine elect !"^ It is repaeied 
also, as Bede tella us, tJiat lius maa of Gt>d, going one da^ 
into tiie maorket-place, saw there some English yentlis 
whose bodies and countenances and hair were ex^eding^ 
fair. He learned, upon inquky, that th^ wn^e just arri<ved 
from Bntian, and also that they were hobtfaens. Upoa 
wiiidi he ezdadmel with a si^ : — "^Alas t how sad that Ihe 
aothor of darkness has in bis power men of so fair a coimt- 
tenanee." Again he iatquired, ** what was t&e name of thoA 
nation ? " and was ansvTered that tiiey were called Anglea. 
*' It is well," be said, " for they have an angel&c fsiee, and 
such as iiwy ou^oit to be coheirs with the angds ia 
heaven : " adding, '' Whst is the name of tiie proiiince from 
which they are l^rou^?" It was leplied that the nadwes 
of that province were called Deki K " Truly," said he^ 
'^ they are f^eked enrt from wrath, ' Be xr^' and eaEed 1» 
tbe mercy of Christ: How is tiie Isiag of tiiat provioce 
called?" They toM hitn that has nam^ was Mil&; upon 
wkid&, in aUusiioiL to tiae name, he said,. " Aldujaih nuBt 
fee sm^ to tbe praise of God m those regiensw." Freaenir 

* Job xxix. 11-17 J and xxxi. 16-18. According to tbe Viriga*»i 

^ These words still form pact of the Canon of iS» maa used in all th» 

dnEPdwf oi thv Boman eomBnuuxni^ oenofuif iff t&e Oflbrtary^ jnit before 

Ifae' consMSBrtioB. 
' The ancient name of the kingdom of Korihumbria. 



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AJO. dO&] TOMB AN» UXBAlSi 09 QVtBMKS THE GBEAT. 7d 

ing iMTttRAlf, therefore,, to the hishop who then governed the 
Eoman church^, for he himself was not yet pope, he 
eutreaiied that he would commission him to preach the 
goie^el in that country; hut not heing able to accomplish 
his desire, as soon as he was advanced to the primacy he 
carried into execution, by means of others,, the work on 
which his heart had long been set 

Gregory was interred in the church of St Peter the 
Apostle before the sacristy, where this epitaph is inscribed 
on his tomb: — 

" Sarth ! take tliat body wluch at first yon ffsve^ 
Till Gh)d again shall raise it from the grare. 
The soul mounts upwards to the realms of dftj. 
Yanilj tiie pow'rs of tarkaaas fCrife to stay 
Bim, eVii whoa» death fant leads to life the imy. 
He, best of prelates, to the tomb descends f 
But &me his good deeds through the world extends. 
The Saxon race he taught the way of peace. 
And to the fold of Christ brought fim inervasR 
HsbI, Qregeary; Boman, Christian^ sohfior, luiLl 
The knnis of thy tduv^ht. ne'ef dttU faik" ^ 

Meanwhile St. Augustine ordained Justus bishop in 
DomlHrevi, a eity of Kent, which the Engl^^ call Bc^cester, 
from one of their dfcdefe named Eof. King Bthjelbert founded 
tliere a church dedicated to St Andrew the apostle. The 
place i& distant from Canterbury 24 miles. 

We have ncyw completed our ta^of (lowing how the 
kmg and people of Kent were cawnarted to l£e frdtb of 
Cbnst; and here the second part begins, in which is shown 
how the king and people of Essex, that is, the East^axons, 
ceeeived the word of God. They were e'vangelized hy 
Mellitar, a £utMixl and hdly man, who was aent to than hf 
Augustine ; being at that time governed under "Eihe^ertr 
whose rnle» as we have said before, extended over liie vt^ole 
Goiuitry aa fBcr as the Humber, by his n^hew Sebert. The 
BoiBBioin pycmsg suevessfiil, and the king Sebevt, with his 
people, being converted to the froth, King Etheibert lorai^il 
in London &e dhurch of St Ftolfer an epineopal see, and,. 

* BsMwUsi I. Gcego^ himi^ was madfr Bisl^p al Boma AJk 690, 
' Henry of Hnntii^on omits some lines of this epitaph giveft 1^ Badiw 



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80 HENBT OP HUNTINGDON. [bOOK m. 

munificently endowing it, Mellitus was worthily appointed 
bishop. 

[a.d. 603.] Meanwhile^ Augustine, with the assistance of 
King Ethelred, assembled the bishops or doctors of the 
largest and nearest province of the Britons at a place which 
is to this day called in the English tongue Augustine's Ac, 
that is, " Augustine's oak," on the confines of the Wiccii 
and the West-Saxons^. There was a controversy with 
the Scots and Picts respecting the celebration of Easter ^ 
and when they refused their assent to the unanswerable 
reasoning of Augustine, it was mutually agreed that the 
confirmation of their several opinions should rest on the 
healing of a blind man of the English race, who was brought 
into the assembly. When, therefore, the priests of the 
Britons were unable to cure him, Augustine bending his 
knees in prayer before them all, restored sight to the blind 
man, that through him he might give light to the whole 
nation. Afterwards* the Britons and Scots, for their greater 
satisfaction, sought advice as to what they should do fi:om a 
certain man who was esteemed to be wise and holy. He 

' Bede, book ii 2. 

^ The Wiccii, Hniccii, or Jagantei, were a tribe of Britons wbo inhabited 
Worcestershire, Warwickshire, and the north of G^loucestershire. On the 
north was a kindred tribe, the Ordovices, or noble Yiccii [from Vic, a war- 
rior, and Ordf honourable], who originaUj possessed Salop, and part of 
Cheshire and North Wales ; and afterwards conquered Worcestershire, &c., 
from the Wiccii proper. — Wkitaker*8 History of Manchester. ReoTj of 
Huntington might, therefore, justly describe this country as one of the 
largest provinces of the ancient Britons, being divided on the south-east 
from the kingdom of the West-Saxons by the river Avon. Aust, a village 
which is situated just above the confluence of that river with the Severn, 
where the synod is supposed to have been held, answers the Archdeacon^s 
description of St Augustine's oak ; being on the confines between the two 
provinces. 

^ The ancient British and Irish churches kept the feast of Baster by a 
cycle, in which the improvement adopted at Bome in the fifth century had 
not been introduced. The controversy was not, as generally supposed, be- 
tween the practice of the Boman and the ancient Bastem churches. See note' 
to Bede's Bcclesiastical History, p. 104 of the present series. 

* This incident is related by Bede to have occurred at a second synod, 
held at Banchor, now BangorJscoed, in Flintshire, where there was a cele- 
brated British monastery. Henry of Huntingdon, in his imperfect notice of 
these occurrences, omita to mention the latter synod, and confoies ibe 
two accounts. 



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A.D. 603.] SYNOD AT BANGOB 81 

replied, " If he is a servant of God, agree with him." But 
they said, "How shall we know this?" To which he an- 
swered : " If he is meek and humble of heart, he will 
appear to be a servant of God." Upon which they rejoined, 
" How shall we know that he is humble?" " If," said he, 
" he rises up when you approach him, consider that he 
receives you in the spirit of humility ; but if, you being 
more in number, he shall yet disdain to stand up to you, do 
you disdain to submit to him." When, therefore, they met, 
and Augustine, who was seated in a chair after the Boman 
fashion, did not rise up to receive them, they departed with 
indignation and clamorous reproaches. To whom Augustine 
predicted that since they would not accept the peace offered 
them by their brethren, they would have war with them as 
enemies, and that if they would not preach the way of life 
to the English nation, they would undergo by their hands 
the penalty of death. All which was by agency of Divine 
Providence accomplished just as he foretold. 

For afterwards Ethelfrid, the formidable king of the 
English, of whom we have spoken^, having assembled a 
vast army, made an immense slaughter of the perfidious 
nation at the city of the legions which is called by the 
EngUsh people Lege-cester, but by the Britons, more cor- 
rectly, Kaer-legion'-*. When about to give battle, observing 
their priests, who had gathered together to offer prayers to. 
God on behalf of the soldiers engaged in the conflict, 
standing in a place of some safety, he inquired who they 
were, and for what purpose they were thus assembled? 
Most of them belonged to the monastery of Bangor, in 
which, it is reported, the number of the monks was such, 
that when the monastery was divided into seven parts, with 
a superintendent for each, none of these divisions con- 
tained less than 300 men, who all lived by manual labour. 
Many of these having completed a three-days' fast, had 
now, among others, joined the army to offer their prayers, 
having one named BrocmaU as their champion to pro- 
tect them while they were thus engaged from the swords 

' King of Northnmbria. 

' Chester, tbe Deva of the Bomans, which was garrisoned by the legion 
caDed the twentieth Valerian, one of its eight auxiliary cohorts, the Frisian, 
being stationed at Manchester. — WkUaker^s History, 

Or 



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82 HENBZ OF H;UNTIH0fX>N. [BOOK HI. 

of &e badNuriaas. Whffli Elng EdielMd ivae informed of 
thB oecaskn of their coming, he said, ^ If, then, they invoke 
tbeir God igamBt vs, truly they fig^t against us, ^aou^ 
iSmj are unarmed, inasmuch as tibey oppose ns with their 
hAatile imprecations." He therefore ecaumanded that the 
first atisack should be made on than, and then destroyed 
the remainder of the impious army, not without great loss 
oi hia own troofts. Of those who came to pray, it is said 
tluut about 1^0^ were 6lain« and 50 only escaped by 
flight Bro(9Baii and his followers, turning Iheir backs 
on the «Damy at the first attack, left those whom he ought 
t» hvve protected, unarmed and defenceless, to the swords of 
the assa^ants. Thus was fiilfiUed the prediction of Angus- 
tine, the holy bishop, though he himself had been translated 
long before to the celestial kingdom; that those perfidious 
men should suffer the punishment of temporal death also, 
beeanse they had despised the offers made them of eternal 
salvation. 

Augustine, bdoved c^ God, was, indeed, now dead, and had 
been buried n^r the church ai Bt. Peter and St Paul, but 
ontsidie the walls, because it was not yet finished nor coor 
seerated. But a£ter its consecration by his successor Lauren- 
tiiaa, the remains were tranali^Ted with due honoiu: to tiie 
north porch of the ^urdi, in which the bodies of all the 
archbiBhops to the tiooe of Theodore were interred, after 
which tibie poseh could contain no more. The following 
e]HtA{dx is inscribed on the tomb of St. Augustine : — 

'' Here lies the Lord Augustine, first archbishop of Can- 
terbuiy^ who, baring been formerly directed here by the 
blessed Gregory, bishop of the city of Rome, and strength- 
ened by God with the power of woiidng miracles, brought 
King Ethehed and his people from, the worship of idols to 
theMth of G^3i8t, and having ended the days of his office 
in peace, departed this life the seventh of the kalends of 
June, during the i^ign of the same king." 

While Augnadne was yet alive he had cons^eoted Lao- 

^ See Saxon Clironicle, A.D. 607. The number there stated is 200. *'It 
wai originally perhaps in the MSS. lice, the abbreriation for 1200 ; which 
M the nioiber of the slainia Bede. The anonks of Bangor ase said to have 
snnbered 2100 ; most of irhsm appear to haye been ffisployed in pnyer, 
and only 50 escaped by f^i^^^-lnffram^ 



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A.B. 605-616.] XAWBEHCE, SBOOND AJtCHBISHOP. 83 

renthis as his soecessor in ihe archbishoprie, following the 
example of St Feter, who oidained Oemens in like manner, 
lest upon his own death the state of the chnrdi, as yet un- 
settled, should totter even for a sin^e hour. Laurentius 
mdefatigably built up the rdigion whidi had been founded, 
not only superintoiding with care the new churdi of the 
English nation, but also those of the ancient Britons and 
Scots, who were mistaken in the time of keeping Easter. 
To them he sent a letter, the beginning of which is as 
^[^ows^: — 

" To ouw most dear hrotkers the lords, Ushops, and abbots, 
through aU Scotland, Ixmrentius, MeUUus, and JmUis, hukops ; 
the servants of ^ dervants of Ood, 

" When the apostolic see, according to its custom through- 
out the world, sent us to these western parts to preach to 
heathen nations, it happened that we came into this island 
without any previous knowledge of its inhabitants ; but we 
held both ihe Britons and Scots in great esteem for sanctity, 
believing that they had proceeded according to the custom 
of the imiversal church. And when we became acquainted 
with the usages of the Britons, we thou^t that those of the 
Scots were better. But we found iiotn. Daganus the 
bishop, and Columban the abbot, that the Scots no way 
differ from the Britons in their customs. For Dagan the 
bishc^, when he came to us, refiised not only to eat with 
xts, but in the saane house of entertainment in which we 
were." 

Mdlitus, bibhop of London, going to Bcnne, was |H*esent 
at a council held by Pope^ Bom^Eice, in which he made re- 
gulations concerning ^e peace and order oi the monks. It 
was this Pope Boni&ee, the fcmrth after Pope GregOTy, who 
obtuned from the Emperor Phocas the temple called the 
Pantheon, that he mi^t dedicate it to All Saints. 

King Ethelbert died a.d. 616, and in the fifty-sixth year 
of his own reign, and was buried in the church of St. Peter 
and St Paul before mentioned^. This great and excellent 
man, among other beneits whidi he conferred on his people, 
compiled a book of judicial decrees. After the death of 

1 Bed^ book li. c 4. > Bade, lM>ok ii. c. 5. 

a 2 



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B4 HENBT OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK ILL 

Ethelbert, Eadbald, his son, who was a heathen, took his 
father*s wife. From his example many relapsed into their 
former micleanness ; but the king was pmiished by frequent 
:fits of madness. On the death also of the king of the 
East-Saxons he left three sons the heirs of his kingdom who 
were heathens. Being idolaters, they said to the bishop, 
when he was celebrating the mass : " Why do you not offer 
to us also that white bread which you used to give to our 
father, and still hand to the people ? " To which he an- 
swered : "If you consent to be washed in that layer of re- 
generation, in which your father was washed, you also may 
be partakers of the holy bread of which he partook ; but if 
you despise the water of life, you can by no means partake 
of the bread of life." Whereupon they replied, " We will 
not enter that laver, because we do not know that we have 
any need of it, and yet we choose to eat of that bread." 
And being often diUgently admonished by him, that it could 
by no means be permitted that any one should partake of the 
holy eucharist without the holy purification, at last they said 
in a rage, " If you will not comply with our wishes in so 
small a matter, you shall no longer dwell in our country." 
And they banished him and his followers from the kingdom. 
Being thus expelled, he came into Kent to consult with his 
fellow bishops, Laurentius and Justus, what was to be done 
in this juncture. Whereupon it was unanimously agreed 
that they should aU return into their own coimtry, where 
they might serve God in freedom, than continue to reside 
among barbarians who had renounced the faith. Accord- 
ingly, MeUitus and Justus departed first, withdrawing into 
Gaid with the intention of waiting there the issue of affaurs. 
But the kings who had driven from them the preachers of 
the truth, did not long continue their heathenish worship 
unpunished, for, going forth to battle with the nations of 
the Gewissse, they were all slain, together with their army. 
However, though the leaders, in their wickedness, were cut 
off, the people who had fallen into it could not be reclaimed 
and restored to the simplicity of the faith and charity which 
is in Christ. 

Laurentius being about to follow Mellitus and Justus, 
and to quit Britain, ordered his bed to be laid the night 



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A.D. 616-619.] Lawrence's vision, and death. 85 

before in the church of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, 
which has been often mentioned^. Here, after pouring 
forth many tears and supplications to God for the state of 
his church, he composed himself to rest. While he was 
yet sleeping in the dead of the night, the blessed prince of 
the apostles appeared to him and chastising him for a long 
time with sharp stripes*, demanded with apostoHcal seve- 
rity, " Why he was forsaking the flock which he had com- 
mitted to him? or to what shepherds he would intrust 
Christ's sheep that were in the midst of wolves? Hast 
thou," said he, " forgotten my example, who, for the sake 
of those little ones whom Christ commended to me in 
token of his love, suffered at the hands of infidels, his 
enemies, bonds, stripes, imprisonment, afflictions, and in 
the end death itself, the death of the cross, that I might 
thereafter share his crown ?" Thus admonished, Laurentius 
forthwith related all this to the king, who, struck with alarm, 
dissolved his illegitimate marriage, and was baptized. He 
likewise sent to recall Mellitus and Justus from Gaul. The 
people of Kochester received Justus, but the Londoners 
rejected Mellitus, preferring to be imder their idolatrous 
high-priests ; for Ejng Eadbald had not so much authority 
as his father, so that he was unable to restore the bishop 
against the will of his subjects. 

[a.d. 619.] Laurentius died in the reign of Eadbald', 
and was succeeded by Mellitus, bishop of London, who with 
the co-operation of Justus, bishop of Kochester, governed 
the English church with much diligence. MeUitus, indeed, 
was afflicted with gout, but his mind was sound. He was 
noble by birth, but much more noble in mind. For one 
mstance of his virtue, when a fire broke out in ihe city of 
Canterbury, he ordered himself to be carried to the raging 
flames, and by his prayers extinguished the conflagration. 
Justus, bishop of Kochester, succeeded to the archbishopric 
after the death of Mellitus, who held it five years. 

' Bede, book u. c. 6. 

' In Saxon Chronicle, Utenlly, "swinged, or icourged him.'' The expression 
of King Alfred, in his translation of B^e, is still stronger. But both Bedo 
and Alfred )}egin by recording the matter as a vision, or a dream, whence the 
transition is easy to a matter of tact, as it is stated by Henry of Huntingdon 
and all their copiers. 

' Bede, book ii c. 7* 



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M BENBT OOP HCHTmODClI. [BOOK IIL, 

[▲.D. <^4.} Pope Bomi&ce, Hke snoeessor of Bens-dedit, 
sent him the pallhim with 1^ letter icDlowmg^ : — 

** Benifitee to his dearly hdowd brother Justm. 

^ How devoutly and diligezvlfy your findemity has lahoured 
f(x the gospel of Christ, I hare learnt not only from the 
contents of your epistle, hut from the suoeess of your work. 
Almighty Ood hath not whhhdLd the hlessing of hk saora- 
ments nas ^e fruit oi your labours, having regard to his 
sure promise to the ministers of his gospel, ' Lo ! I aiDEk 
with you idway, even unto the end of ^ world.' Fcwr we 
have received accounts from our son Eadbald, the king» hy 
which we perceive with bow nmdi wisdom of holy elei^ 
quenee your fraternity has led his mind to emhxace a puore 
life and an undonbtingly sinc^e faidi 

'^ We have, therefore, beloved Inrotfeker, sen^yon the pttlhiiift 
by the bearer ci this letter, grantiDg you Mcemee to wear it 
in the celebration of the holy mysteries, and also p^rmittmg 
you to ordain bishops, the grace of our Lord directing ;)KMi^ 
as occa^on may re^pnre ; that so the gospel of Christ n^Xf 
be made known by the preaching oi many taaU the nationa 
which are not yet converted. God hare you in his Ba£» 
keeping, most b^oved brother ! " 

Our third section ccMmuenees with ihe ccHkversion of 
the Northumbrians, that is, of tiie people who inhabit tbd 
country to the nor^ of the Humbar. 'Hifiar king, Edwin,, 
had been raised to a pitdDi c^ tem|K)ral poller soch as na 
Engl^ king had enjoyed before^; for his rule extended 
througho«xt the bomids of Britain, and all the porovineea 
which were inhaMted either by English or Britoiis werfr 
under his dconinion. He also rednoed to has suhjeetiKNa 
the Menavian islands' ; tiie first of whidi, the one lyiiig t» 
the south, is the largest in size, and, from its fertility, most 
prodnetive oi com. It ecoitaiDs the faacms of 960 £uniliea; 
the other, ol ^00 and more. 

[a.d. 625.] This king, when yet a heathen, had marriedi 
Ethelburga, a Christian, and the daughter of King Ethel- 
bert, who was also caUed Tate, ^be was attended by 
iWinus, ordained bishop by Justus the arehMshop, thftfb 

1 Bede, book ii. c. 8. ' Bede, bocflt ii. eft 

' Mona, or Anglesey, and the Isle of Man. 



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A.1). 6^.] comaBaxoEr or szncf edwin. 87 

he migbt pyopagate the govpel in tiEtat region. The ibUow- 
ing jeap l^re temfei. a certain asBasBin named Emner, ^dio 
was e]X)|>lo7ed by Chiebelm^ kuog of Weas^ to murder 
Edwin. Tkis maD, pret^adiakg tlMt he htou^t a message 
lirom ins mas^r, made a sodden attack on King Edwin, 
near the nver B^rwent^ wsth a poisimed and two-edged 
dagger. liHa, an o£&cer of liie king, observiag it, inter- 
cqoted ihe stroke by interposing his own body, which it 
transfixed, at the same iime slighth^ wocmding the king. 
The assassin was immediately cut down by the swords of 
the king's att^idonts, bat not before he had slain staotber 
officer. 

The some ni^t the qneen garre: birtih to a dao^ter, 
whose naxfife was Eaofied, npam -sUnch the king gm% thaz^ 
to his ^ods ; but PSatiliniis asserted that his prayess to Gtid 
had obtained for the queen a safe deliverance. The king,. 
d^Mghted with Ms words, TOwed t^iat he wottld become the 
serv^ant of Christ if he granted him victory over Chkch^m; 
and as a pledge for the folfihEient of his profoise he c<hi^ 
manded that Ms daughter diould be baptizie^, which ima 
done, dieren others^ of his femily receiring baptism ait the 
same time. "When, however, he returned victorious into Ms 
ovm country, Ms enemies bezng either slain or reduced to 
subjection, he did not inememately beoome a Christian; 
btEt, being naturally a man of great sagacity, he often when 
flkyne, and often m company with others, having heard the 
flB^omexKts to the new religion, deliberated wiwt was tor be 

Pbpe B<Hu^i0e addressed to Mm a letter^ exhorting hii» 
to embrace the Mth, and therewith he sent praients, which 
he mentions at the close of Ms epistle in these words: 
•*We have, morcc^er, sent you the blesscog of yo«r pwo- 
teetor, ^e blessed Feter, Prince ai the iipostiesv viz. one 
sMrt, in&k sat ornament of go^d, and coie cloak <^ Ancjra, 
whid!t -we piay your mightiness to accept wi& the wsana 
feeiing of regard vrith whidi you are assured it is ofiered 
l^ iB9.** The Pl^)e sei^ atiso a letter to EtheihcErga,^ aceion- 
panied f^ presents, of whidt he thus ^eaks at ^e close <^ 
his letter: ••We have, moreover, sent yon Ifce blessing of 

^ Bede, boolt ii. ce. 70, 11. 



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88 HENET OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK Ul. 

your protector, the blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, 
viz. a comb of gilt ivoiy and a silver mirror, which we en- 
treat your highness to accept with the same feeling of 
regard with which you are assured it is offered by us." 

Meanwhile S the Holy Spirit revealed to Paulinus a 
vision which had been formerly presented to King Edwin 
after this manner. When Ethelfnd, his predecessor, per- 
secuted him so that, becoming a fugitive, he had sought 
refuge at the court of King Kedwald, he received informa- 
tion through one of his friends that Kedwald, corrupted by 
the gifts of King EthelMd, meant to put him to death; 
his fnend, at the same time, offering to conduct him out of 
the province. To which he replied, " Whither shall I now 
flee, when I have been so long a wanderer through all the 
provinces of Britain, to escape the snares of my enemies ? 
But if I must die, I would rather fall by his hand than by 
that of any meaner person." Having said this he remained 
alone, brooding over his misfortunes in distress of mind, 
when he suddenly saw a stranger, in the silence of the 
night, who said to him, " Fear not, for I am not ignorant 
of the cause of your grief. What, then, will you give to 
one who will deliver you from it, and influence Kedwald to 
restore his regard to you ? " Upon his replying that he would 
give all he was worth, the other added, " What if he should 
also piously engage that you should become a more power- 
ftd king than any of your predecessors, and that all your 
enemies shall be destroyed?" Edwin making the same 
reply as before, the stranger added again, " But in case he 
should propose to you a better way of life than any of yom: 
fathers knew, would you submit to his coimsel ? " Upon 
Edwin's faithfully promising this, the stranger laid his 
hand on his head, saying, " When this sign shall be given 
you, remember this hour and this discourse." Having said 
this he suddenly vanished, that the king might imderstand 
it was not a man, but a spirit. While the royal youth sat 
there alone, the friend before mentioned came to him and 
said, " Rise and be joyful; the king's resolution is altered, 
and the queen's persuasion has induced him to keep faith 
with you." In short, King Kedwald assembled an army, 

* Bede, book ii. c. 12. 



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A.D. 627.] THE NOBTHUMBRIANS CONYEETED. 89 

and slew EthelMd, who was advancing against him on 
the horders of the kingdom of Mercia, on the eastern 
bank of the river which is called Idle. In this battle the 
son of Eedwald, Eegnhere by name, was slain. In this 
manner Edwin obtained possession of the kingdom of 
Northumbria. 

[A.D. 627.] When PaiiLinus reminded the king of the 
vision, laying his hand on his head, the king would have 
thrown himself at his feet if the other had not prevented 
him. The king being now ready to acknowledge the faith, 
conferred with his followers, that he might induce them to 
accept it with him^ ; upon which Coifi, the chief of the 
heathen priests, said : '* O king, no one has more devotedly 
served our Gods than I have done, in the hope of the 
worldly advantages I might obtain through them. But 
there are many who have received from you richer gifts 
than I have, and therefore I am satisfied that our Gods are 
good for nothing." Another of the king's chief men pre- 
sently added, " The present life of man, O king, on this 
earth, seems, in comparison of that time which is unknown 
to us, as when you are sitting at supper with your warriors 
and counsellors in the season of winter, the hall being 
warmed by a fire blazing on the hearth in the centre, the 
storms of the wintry rains or snow raging meanwhile in 
gusts without; and then a sparrow entering the house 
should swiftly fiit across the hall, entering at one door, and 
quickly disappearing at the other; for &e time that it is 
within it is safe from the wintry blast, but the narrow 
bounds of warmth and shelter are passed in a little mo- 
ment, and then the bird vanishes out of your sight, return- 
ing again into the winter's night from which it had just 
emerged. So this life of man appears for a short interval ; 
but of what went before, or what is to follow, we are utterly 
ignorant. If, therefore, this new doctrine conveys to us 
any more assured promise, it has just claims that we should 
embrace it." 

When others had also spoken to the same effect, Coifi 
«dded, that he wished to hear Paulinus himself discoursing 
of his God ; after listening to whom, he exclaimed that he 

Bede, book iL c. 18. 



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•0 Hsner C9 BuimaraK>flr. [book la. 

and iStut rest were lost in error, and the j till agreed to em- 
braee the faith of Christ together. Coifi himself, the chief 
priest, having piocured from &e king a dkkaiger whaeh was 
a staihon (for it was not lawful for the pagan hi^k-priest to 
lide on aaxy but a mane), and sizing a sword and fspeset 
(which also it was not lawful for him to wield), gaBoped to 
the temple in the sight oi all, and hnmt and destroyed the 
flhnnes which hk own hands had consecrated. The spot 
where this idol-temple stood is still shown in iibe nei^ 
bouzhood of York, to the eastward b^ond the river DcRrii- 
esicion, that is, the Derwent, and the plaee is now eaifled 
Godmundham^. 

King Edwin, theref(^e, was baptized ^ wi^ many olhers 
at the same time, in the chmrch of Si Feter^, which he 
had constructed of timber for the seat of the episcopate of 
Paulintts. Before long he began to build diere a larger 
church (d stone, whidi Oswald afterwards fiiEished. There 
were baptized also Ofrid and Eadfrkl, King Edwin's sons,. 
both of whom were bom to him while he was in esdle, of 
Quenburga, the dau^brter of Cearl, king of i^ Mercians. At 
a later period his childrrai by Queen Ethelbnrga were also 
baptized, two of wb(mt were oaatdbed away wbUe they were 
yet in their white baptkmal robes, and were burled in Oxe 
church at York, So great then was the fiti& in the gosp^, 
and so eager ^be desire lor the water of salvadon among 
the people of Northumbria, that at one time when Pav^Ems 
came with the king and queen to the r^al viHa ci^lled 
Adgebrhi*, he stayed with them Uiere S6 days, ^s^kiofly 
^igaged in &e offices c^ catechising tsad adrmnist^ing 
baptism. The people were baptized in the river Oku, 
near the town of Helming in the proyinee of Bemicia. He 



^ Now goodmtnlimm, m the But Biding of Tak, 
3 Bede, lK>dk iL c. U. 

* At York, on the site of the present cathedral, where parts of the origi- 
nal &bric of Btone, built by Paulinus, have been recently discoyered beneatft 
^ preient choir ; sod Acpeatim «f tin int timltai chwk is pcnted out 
by a spring, snppoted U he that which si^pliea tiw baptistery of Ext^X*- 
win. Paolinns also built a church at Goodmaohom, where Stakelef si^f 
the font is shown in which the heathen priest Coifi was baptized. 

* Teverin in Glendall, near Wooler. 

* A royal yill; Miliieldl in Kwdiiimbefhuid. 



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A3. 1^8.] XZNMEV OONfKBOB. 91 

iMiptiaed also in Hie river Swale, utiich nms by Hie "vfllage 
of Calanwt^ 

[J..D. 628^.} PiatdiniB also ccmyrated tbe province of lio- 
^i8s^^ which lies (m the soath of the river Hmabec; 
b^innkig with the governor of the city of Linooki, whoie 
mane was Bkcca, who was oonverted with aH his honse^ 
hold. He huHt in that city a church of beant^il workmaor 
flldp, in which he consecn^ted Honorius arehhishopu The 
eHy of linooln, which was then called Lmdoccftin, with the 
net^boiiring district of lindiss^^ whkh is sarronnded on 
aM ffldes either by rivirars or marshes or the sea, belcmgi to 
the kingdom of Mercia. The city is nobly sitoated, and 
the distiiet abounds in wealth; so that it is somewhere 
written : 

" On a high hill the noUe city stands, 
Fadng the sonth.* ^ 

The abbot of Peartaneu^ reported that he had seen an old 
man who was baptized by Panlinus with a crowd of peqple» 
in the fHresence of King Edwin, in the river Trent» near 
the town now called Fingecester^. He described the per- 
son of Paulinns as being tall of stature and a little b^t ; 
his hair black, his face meagre, his nose sl^ider and aqnir 
line, his aspect both venerable and mi^estic. 

[jLD, 6S4.] When Pope Honorius was informed of what 
had occurred, he addressed a letter of esduxrtation to King 
Sdwin, of which I have thought it proper to extract the 
latter clause, viz. that in whidi the ciinumstances of the 
English archhishops are eleady handled in the following 
words'' : — 

* C^tteriek^ in the Forth BuKog of YoricAire ; a jAwe of great an- 
tiquity. 

* B6d^boakii.&li. 

* lindiej, a district ceauprinng the eaatan pait of Idncolnshin, bounded 
by the Tient and the sea, the Humber, and the Wash, which in early timea 
-was a sepaiate state, subordinate to Lhieoln, and dependent on the kings of 
Xercia. 

* Hie BflDieiia0B6da,aiidhft musthtt tfntabbtft cf Putney,* edl U 
^MioBf Abbey. Bode m^ Oat tbia aneodote m» told ban by Deda 



> In Bede, Tml-fingacaestir. The pbce is supposed to he Southwell in 
Nottinghamshire, remarkable for its ancient collegiate church. 
• Bede, book ii c 17. 



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92 HENBY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK III, 

" Employ yourself in frequently reading the works of my 
Lord Gregory, of apostolical memory, who first caused the 
gospel to be preached among you, having before your eyes 
3ie savour of his doctrine, which he zealously employed for 
your spiritual good ; to the end that his prayers may be- 
nefit your kingdom and people, and present you blameless 
before Almighty God. But concerning those things which 
you have requested us to regulate respecting your priests, 
being moved by the sincerity of yoin* faith, of which we 
have been satisfactorily assured by a variety of information 
from the bearers of our present letters, we are disposed to 
make provision with a willing mind and without any delay. 
We have therefore sent two palls to the two metropolitans, 
Honorius and Paulinus, in order that, when either of them 
is called out of this world to his Creator, the survivor may, 
pursuant to this our authority, substitute another bishop in 
the place of the one that is deceased. And this privilege 
we are induced to grant as well on account of your loving 
regard to us, as of the vast distance through so many pro- 
vinces which intervenes between us and you ; that we may 
in all things manifest our concmrence with your devoted- 
ness in conformity to your wishes. May God's grace keep 
your Excellency in safety 1 " 

[a.d. 627.] Oiu: fourth section^ begins with the conver- 
sion of the Eas^ Angles, whose king, Erpwald, the son of 
Bedwald, accepted the faith at the instance of Kmg Edwin, 
with whom he maintained the most fiiendly relations. 
His father, Kedwald, indeed, had long before adopted the 
Christian rehgion, but to no piupose ; for returning home 
he was seduced by his wife and certain false bretla:en, so 
that he set upNaltars to Christ and to the devU in the same 
chapel, which, as Aldulf, king of that same province^ who 
lived in the time of Venerable Bede, testifies, were standing 
in his time. Not long after his conversion, Erpwald was 
slain by one Kigbert, a pagan. He was succeeded by his 
brother Sigebert, a Christian himself and zealous in chris- 
tianizing others, with the aid of the bishop Felix, who 
being a Burgundian by origin, Honorius, the archbishop, 
had sent there to preach the gospel. This bishop Felix, 

^ Bede, book ii. c 15. 



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A.D. 634.] LETTEB OP POPE HONOBTOS. 93 

fixing^ his episcopal seat in the city of Domoc\ occupied it 
with a felicity appropriate to his name for seventeen years, 
and there ended his days in peace. 

[a.d. 627-30.] In the meantime, on the death of the 
archhishop Justus, Paulinus consecrated in his stead Ho- 
norius, who repaired to him at the city of Lindocoln, which 
is now called Lincoln, and was ordained in the church 
which Paulinus huilt there, as hefore related. Whereupon 
Pope Honorius sent the pall to Honorius the new arch- 
hishop, with a letter concerning the ordering and the pre- 
cedence of the two archbishops, of which the following is 
the tenor : — 

" Honorius to his dearly beloved brother Honorius. 

"Among the many good ^fts which the mercy of our 
Redeemer is pleased to bestow upon his servants, the full- 
ness of his loving-kindness is largely shown as often as He 
permits us by brotherly intercourse, as it were face to face, 
to make known our mutual regard. For which gift we 
continually return thanks to his Divine Majesty ; and we, 
humbly beseech Him that He will confirm you with con- 
tinual strength while you labour, and are fruitful in preach- 
ing the gospel, and in following the rule of your master 
and head, the blessed Gregory, and that He may, through 
you, raise up fresh instruments for the enlargement of his 
church : so that the increase gained by you and your pre- 
decessors, beginning in the time of our lord Gregory, being 
in continual growth, may be multiplied and strengthened 
both in faith and works in the love and fear of the Lord. 
Thus the promise of our Lord shall hereafter have respect 
to you, while those words of his shall call you to everlasting 
happiness, * Come unto me all ye that labour and are 
heavy, laden, and I will give you rest* And again, * Well 
done, thou good and faithful servant ; thou hast been faith- 
ful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many 
things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.' And we, 

1 Afterwards Dtmwioh, but now no longer in existence, it baring been 
washed awaj by tbe sea. The name of this bishop appears to be still pre- 
ferred by the village of Felizstow, ** the dwelling of Felix, on the Suffolk 
coast."— J^Tote in Bede*t EccUs, Hist., Bohn'i edition. 

* Bede, book ii. c 18. He does not mention the date of this archbishop's 
death. The Saxon Chronicle places it in 627, and Dr. Smith in 680. 



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14 HEXBT OF HDHXDrOUDOK. [BOOK HI. 

most beloTed brotiheis, o£biing jou ^ese words of exhor- 
tatkm oat of our abundant lore, do not hesitate to grant 
you what we perceive is possibie to c<msist with the pxi- 
Tileges of yoor churches. 

^* According, tiierdEtnci, to jour petition, and the neqoests 
of the kings oar sons, we haye granted yon by these pre- 
sents, by autlioiity as Ticar of the bkssed Peter, Prince of 
tiie Apostles, anth(Mity, Ihat when the Divine grace shall 
call one of you to himsdf , the stmriYor idiall ordsun another 
bishop in the place of the deceased. F<»r whidi purpose 
we have sent to each of you a pall for your use in such 
consecrations, that by the authority of our precept you may 
make an ordination acceptable to God. Consicbring the 
wide space of sea and land which lies between us and you, 
we find ourselves compiled to make this ccmcession, in 
<»der that no loss may under any circumstances occur to 
your churches, but that the devotion of the people ccmi- 
mitted to your charge may be fireely furthered. Grod have 
you in his safe keeping, most beloved brother ! 

" Given the third day of the Ides of June, in ihe reign of 
our most pious emperors, ^e Lords Heraclins, that is, 
in ^e 24th year of the reign, the 23rd year a^ber the con- 
sulship of the Emperor Heradius^ ; and in the third year 
of the most illustrious Ceesar, his son Heraclius; the 
seventh indiction ; that is, in the year of the incarnation of 
our Lord 684.** 

The same Pope Honorins wrote letters also^ to the Scots, 
correcting their practice with respect to keeping the feast of 
Easter, that they mig^t not, few as they were, pretend to be 
y/naeac than the churohes of Christ established throu^iout 
the worid. John, likewise, who became pope after the 
death of Severinus, the successor of Honorius, addressed 
letters to them for the purpose of correctmg the same error, 
and combating ^e Pelagian heresy, whidbi he had been in- 
formed was revived am<Hig them, asserting that man could be 
without sin, of his own jfree will, independently of the grace 
of God*. " No man," he said, " can be- without sin, except 

^ ThflTO 18 iMBe confiuiDii in Hesry of Hvntingdoa's qustetioa «£ the 
date of this epistle. Bade adds, ''in tiM 23id jear of kis aon Oonstaalinf, 
and the ^iid after Us coBsulsli^'' 

> Bad«>bM>kit.e. 19. 



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AJD, 6Sd.] PENDA PBB8BCUTE8 THE 4SHBISTIANS. $6 

Jesus Christ, who was conceited and bom without sin;" 
lor all other men, diough thej may he free from actoal 
tzsiisgression, have ihe taint of CHiginal sin, according to 
the saying of David : ' Behc^ I was shapea in iniquity, 
and in sin did my modier conoeiye me.' " 

[▲.D. 683.] After Edwin ^ had reigned seventeen years, he 
was slain in a dei^erate batde in the plain whidi is called 
Hethfdd', hy Cedwall, long o£ the ij&itons, supported hy 
Penda the Strong, at that time king of the Mercians. In 
this battle his whole army was eiiher put to the sword or 
dffipersed. His wariike son, Osrid, was slain before him ; 
aziother son, Eanfrid, was con^Ued hy necessity to take 
refuge with Penda, by whom he was afterwards, during the 
retgn of Oswald, treacherously put to death. Beport says 
that in the battle just mentioned, the plain of Hethfeld 
reeked throughout with red streams of noble Mood ; it was, 
indeed, the sc^ie of a sadden and d^lorable slaughter of 
tiie bravest warriors \ For Cedwall, who was a most power- 
ful king, was at ^e head of an immense army ; and Penda 
the Strong was truly i^ strongest. At this time, therefore, 
tiiere was a general massacre of the Northumbrian Chris- 
tiaos; £Dr Penda was a pagan, and Cedwall (though he 
professed himself a Christian) was worse than a pagans 
paring neither women nor (^dren, and threatening to 
exterminate all the En^sh who were in Britain. Nor was 
it the custom of the Britons to communicate with the 
fiO^i^ any more than with the pagans, paying no respect 
to tibeir profession of Christianity. 

King Edwin^s head was carried to York, and deposited in 
ihe dmrdi of St Peter, which he had began to ^ect, and 
Oswald finished. And now the N<Mlhumbrians, finding no 
aalety but in flight, Pauhnus, taking with him the queen 
Ethdburga, whom he had formeriy conducted ttuth^, 
returned into Kait by sea, where he was honourably re- 
ceived by the Ardibishop Honorius and King Eadbald. He 
broo^t with him also the son and dau^ter oi Edwin, 
idiom their mother afterwards, for fear of the kings Ead- 
bald and Oswald, sent into France to«be bred up hy King 

' Bede, book il c. 20. 
^ Heathfield, now Hatfield, near Doneturter. 
^ ' This passage is an addition hy Hemy of Huntingdon to the more 
^ple narratiye of Bede 



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96 HENBT OF HUNTTNGDON. [BOOK m. 

Dagobert, who was her friend ; and there they both died 
young. He brought with him also the precious vessels of 
Edwin, with a cross of gold and a golden chalice, which are 
still preserved in the cathedral at Canterbury. 

Komanus, bishop of Kochester, having been drowned in 
the Italian sea while he was on his way to Kome on a mission 
from Honorius, Paulinus took chaurge of that bishopric, 
which he held for the rest .of his life, and, there dying, left 
the pall, which he had received from the pope. He had 
left behind him in his chiurch at York, James the Deacon, 
a holy man, who, from that time, employed himself in 
baptizing and teaching, imtil peace being restored in the 
province, and the number of the faithful increasing, he 
became precentor or master of church song after the Eoman 
custom ^ And being old, and full of days; as uxe Scripture 
says, he went the way of his fathers^. 

Edwin was succeeded in the kingdom of the Deiri by his 
cousin Osric ; while Eanfrid, the son of Ethelfrid, obtained 
the kingdom of the Bemicii. These were the two provinces 
into which the Northumbrian nation was anciently divided. 
The two young princes had been baptized while they were 
in exile among the Scots and Picts in the time Of King 
Edwin; but when they became kings they relapsed to 
heathenism. They were justly, but treacherously, slain by 
King Cedwall. First, the very next summer, he slew 
Osric ; for, being besieged by him in a free town ^, Cedwall 
made a sudden sally, and, taking him by surprise, destroyed 
him and his whole army. The year afterwards he put to 
death Eanfrid, who came to him with only twelve soldiers to 
sue for peace. It was a disastrous year, both on account of 
the apostacy of the English kings, and the tyranny of 
Cedwall, who ravaged, as with a pestilence, the hmds which 
he had ingloriously acquired. Hence that year is passed 
over and added to the reign of his successor Oswald. This 
king, after the murder of his brother Eanfrid, advanced with 
a small army, before which he carried aloft the standard of 
the holy cross. Having planted it in a hole dug in the 
ground, and secured it witii tiurfs, he said, " Let us kneel 

' What is now called the Gregorian channt. 

' Bede^ book iii. c. 1. 

' " Municipiens, probably Toric 



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A.D. 635.] AIDAN PREACHES IN NOBTHXJMBRIA. 97 

down, and let us pray together, that the living and true 
Almighty God may of his mercy save us jfrom our cruel and 
proud enemy; for He knows that we are engaged in a 
righteous war for the safety of our country." After which, 
at break of day, they gave battle to Ceadwall and his army, 
vaunting that no one was able to resist them. But they 
were defeated and slain at Denises-bum*, that is, Denis 's- 
brook, so that it is said, " The corpses of Oeadwall's soldiers 
filled the channel of the Denis." The place is held in 
great veneration, as shall be related in the "Book of 
Miracles."^ 

Oswald, becoming king, for the furtherauce of the faith, 
sent into Scotland, where he had been exiled, and obtained 
the assistance of Aidan, an excellent man, though he kept 
Easter inco^ectiy according to the usage of the northern 
Scots. However, the Scots, who dwelt in the south of 
Ireland, had long since, by the admonition of the pope, 
observed Easter correctly. On the arrival of the bishop, 
lie king fixed his episcopal seat in the island of Lindisfame. 
The faith now began to spread; and it was a beautiful 
spectacle, when Aidan was preaching in the English tongue, 
^hich he spoke imperfectly, to see the king himself inter- 
preting, as he often did, to his ofl&cers and counsellors. 
Eor, during his long exile, he had perfectly learnt the 
language of the Scots. Thus the faith grew, and some 
monks, coming firom Scotland, zealously taught the people ; 
for the bishop himself was a monk of tie island called Hii, 
where there is a monastery which was for a long time the 
chief of all that were among the northern Scots and the 
Picts. This island properly belongs to Britain, being di- 
vided fi'om it only by a narrow strait; but it had been 
granted by the Picts, who inhabit those parts of Britain, to 
Qie Scottish monks, because they had received firom them 
the fiMth of Christ^ 

For in the year of grace 565, when Justin the younger* 

I The place has not been identified. 

^ Henry of Huntingdon added a Nintli Book to his History, containing 
an account of the miracles related by Bede, and also of some modem saints 
who flourished in Britain after the time of JBede. 

' Bede, book iii. c. 3. Henry of Huntingdon here, following Bede, breaks 
the thread of his narrative to introduce an account of the conyersion of the 
Picts by Columba, one of whose followers^ the fourth abbot, was Aidan, the 

n 



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98 HENBT OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK III 

who succeeded Justinian, was emperor, there came oyer 
from Ireland an abbot who was named Columba, to preach 
to the Picts of the north, those I mean who are separated 
from the southern Picts by ridges of lofty and rugged 
mountains. For the southern Picts had been already con- 
Terted by Ninian, a British bishop, who was instructed at 
Rome, whose episcopal see, named after St Martin, where 
Columba himself was buried, is now possessed by the 
English. The place lies in the province of Bemicia, and 
is commonly caUed " The White-house,"^ because he there 
erected a church of stone, which was not the usual practice 
of the Britons. 

Columba arrived in Britain in the twenty-first year of the 
reign of Bride, the son of MeilochoUj a very powerful king 
of the Picts; and having converted the people, received 
fix)m them the aforesaid island, which contains about five 
fiamilies, according to the English mode of reckoning. 
His successors possess it to this day; and there Columbr* 
himself was buried. There was also another noble monads 
tery in Ireland, which is called De-Armach, or the Field ct 
Oaks. From these two monasteries, many others, both iiJ 
Ireland and Britain, were offsets, that of Hii having th£ 
rule over them all. For to the abbot of that island, the 
whole province and even the bishops, contrary to the usual 
order, are wont to be subject, because the missionary 
Columba was not a bishop, but a priest and a monk. His 
successors, imitating his example, became very celebrated, 
though they were in error respecting the observance of 
Easter, till they were set right by Egbert the English king. 

[a.d. 635.] From this monastery, Aidan came^ and was 
appointed bishop of Northimibria. King Oswald, having 
his mind formed by such a man, was more proficient in 
knowledge, and more prosperous in his affiEdrs, than all his 
progenitors. For he brought imder his dominion all the 
nations who inhabited Britain, viz. the Britons, the English, 
the Picts, and the Scots. But though he was so exalted, he 
continued humble, and was liberal and kind to the stranger 
and the poor. 

apostle of the Northumbrians, whose eonyenion Henry of Huntingdon then 
proceeds to notice. 

' Whitheme, or Candida Casa, in Galloway. ' Bede, book UL c 5. 



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A.D. 636.] CONVEBSION OP THE WEST-SAXONS. 99 

Here follows our fifth section^, which treats of the con- 
version of the West-Saxons, who were formerly called Ge- 
wisssB. It was accomplished hy Birinus, a bishop, who 
came into Britain by the advice of Pope Honorius ; for 
which pmpose he was ordained bishop by Asterius, bishop 
of Genoa. Having arrived among the Gewissse, a nation 
plimged in the darkest heathenism, he brought to baptism 
the people and their king Kinigils [a.d. 635]. It happened 
fortunately that the holy king Oswald was visiting Kinigils, 
whom he held in the laver of baptism, and took his 
daughter in marriage. The two kings gave to Birinus the 
city of Dorcie^ for the seat of his episcopacy, where, having 
built churches, he was buried ; but many years afterwards, 
when Hedda was bishop, his remains were translated thence 
to thie city of Went, which is now called Winchester, and 
were laid in the church of St. Peter and Paul. 

Kinigils also departing this life was succeeded by his 
son Kenwalch, who held the truth, but imperfectly; for 
having divorced his wife, who was sister of Penda king of 
Mercia, and married another, he was conquered and driven 
out of his kingdom by Penda, and became for three years 
an exile in the court of Anna, the Christian king of the East- 
Angles, where Kenwalch was restored to the faith. But when 
he had recovered his kingdom, he chose for bishop a 
Frenchman named Agilbert, who then came from Ireland, 
v^here he had resided for the sake of study. Afterwards 
the king, who knew no language but English, growing 
weary of the bishop's barbarous tongue, brought into the 
province another bishop of his own nation, whose name 
was Wine, who had been ordained in France, and, dividing 
his kingdom into two dioceses, gave one to Wini, with 
Went, or Winchester, for his episcopal seat. Upon this 
Agilbert, being offended that the king had so done without 
consulting him, returned into France, and, accepting the 
bishopric of Paris, held it till his death. Afterwards, the 
same king drove Wini from his bishopric, who, taking 
refiige withWulfhere, king of the Mercians, pm-chased from 
him for money the see of London, and continued in that 

1 Bede, book iii. c. 7. 

* Dorchester, near Oxford. The see was afterwards transferred t© 
Lincoln. 

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100 HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK in. 

bishopric till his death. The province being thus without 
a bishop, and the king undergoing much suffering from his 
enemies, and many hindrances on that accoimt, he sent 
to Paris for Agilbert. But he being unwilling to relinquish 
that bishopric, sent to the king his nephew Eleutherius, 
who having been consecrated by Theodore the archbishop, 
for a long period had the sole government of the entire 
diocese of the Gewissse. 

[a.d. 640.] Meanwhile^, after Eadbald, king of Kent, 
Erconbert his son reigned in honour 24 years. He was 
the first of the English kings who utterly destroyed idols 
throughout his dominions. He also commanded the fast 
of the 40 days of Lent to be kept, and enacted penalties 
on those who broke it. He married Sexberga, the eldest 
daughter of King Anna, who had sent his youngest daugh- 
ter Ethelberga, and his wife's daughter Sethred, to be ser- 
vants of the Lord in the monastery of Brie*, both of whom, 
though foreigners, were for their vu'tues elected abbesses of 
Brie. For at that time the English nobles were accustomed 
to send their daughters to be brought up in the convents of 
Brie, of Challes^, and Andelys. Erconbert also sent to Brie 
his daughter Erchengote, a holy and venerable virgin, whose 
virtuous acts, and the wonders of whose miracles, are to this 
day related by the inhabitants of that place. We shall set 
forth her merits in the " Book of Miracles."* 

[a.d. 642.] About the same time Oswald "^j after a reign of 
nine years, including the year which has been before re- 
ferred to^, was slain by Penda the Strong, in a great battle 
at Mesafeld, on the 5th of August, in the thirty-eighth year 
of his age. Wlience it is said, " The plain of Mesafeld^ 

' Bede, book iii. c. 8. 

^ Or Faremontier, a monastery founded hj St Fara, A.D. 616, according 
to the rule of St. Golumba. 

' Ohelles, four leagues from Paris. It was founded by St. Clotilda. 
Bede says that the noble English ladies were sent to these convents to be 
educated, from there being few vuch in England. 

* See note, p. 97. 

' Bede, book iii. c 9. 

* See before, p. 96, for the reason this year was erased from the calen- 
dar of the Christian kings, as Bede expresses it. 

^ Antiquarians differ about the site of Mesafeld, or Maserfield, as Bede 
names it ; Camden placing it at Oswestry, in Shropshire ; and others at 
Winwick, in Lancashire. 



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A.D. 642.] MUBDEB OF 08WIN. 101 

was whitened with the bones of saints." By an inscrutable 
providence, the foes of God were allowed to massacre his 
people, and give them for food to the fowls of the air. On 
the spot where Oswald was slain, miracles are wrought to 
the present day. 

[a.d. 642.] This holy king was succeeded in the province 
of Bemicia by his brother Oswy^, who reigned 28 years ; 
but Oswin, the son of King Osric already named, reigned 
seven years in the province of Deira. Between Ihese two 
kings tiiere were causes of disagreement, which became so 
aggravated that they were on the point of encoimtering 
each other at Wilfares-dune, that is, ** Wilfar's hill," distant 
almost ten miles from the village called Cataract^, about 
the autumnal solstice. Oswin, however, finding himself 
inferior in force, dismissed his army, and, attended only by 
a single soldier, whose name was Tondhere, sought conceal- 
ment in the house of Earl Himwald^ whom he imagined to 
be his sin:est friend ; but he was betrayed by the Earl to 
Oswald, and was put to death, with the trusty follower, by 
an officer of Oswy's named Ethelwin, a minrder universally 
execrated, at a place called Getlingum^, where afterwards 
a church was bmlt, for the sake both of him that was mur- 
dered and of him by whose command he was slain. King 
Oswin was of a graceful aspect, and tall of stature, affable 
in discoiu^e, coinrteous and liberal, and so beloved that his 
court was frequented by the nobles of both the provinces 
[of Northumbria]. Of his hmnility we propose to give 
memorable instances from the acts of St. Aidan, who was 
much beloved by him. 

[a.d. 644.] In the second year of the reign of Oswy*, 
Ithamar succeeded the most reverend Father Paulinus in 
the see of Kochester. At this time* the kingdom of the 
East-Angles, after the death of Earpwald, the successor of 
Bedwald, was governed by his brother Sigebert, a religious 

1 Bede, book iii. c. 14. 

^ Catterick, in the West Biding, mentioned before. The spot called Wil- 
£Eir*s Hill cannot now be pointed out 

» Gilling, in the North Biding of Yorkshire. Bede calls it Ingeth- 
lingham. 

♦ Bede, book iii. cc. 14. 18, 19, 20. 

• Sigebert became king of Kent a.d. 685, long before the death of Pau- 
linos. Henry of Huntingdon is frequently confused in his chronology. 



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lOa HENBT OF HUNTINQDON. [bOOK m. 

man, who had heen haptized Id France, where he had fled 
from the persecution of Redwald. After he became king 
he established a school for youths, such as he had observed 
in France ; in which he was assisted by Bishop Felix. A 
holy man from Ireland, named Fiursey, was also nobly en- 
tertained by him. This king was so deyoted to God that, 
resigning his crown to his cousin Ecgric, he entered a mo- 
nastery and received the tonsure. Many years afterwards 
he was compelled to quit it, that he might take the field 
against King Penda; but he would not consent to bear 
anything but a staff in his hand during the battle ; where- 
upon he was slain, together with King Ecgric, and most of 
his army. Anna, the son of Bni, of tibe royal race, a good 
man and the father of a worthy offspring, succeeded. He 
also was afterwards slain by Penda. Felix, bishop of the 
East-Angles, was succeeded by Thomas, after whom was 
Boniface. They were all consecrated by Honorius, on 
whose death Deus-dedit became the sixth archbishop d 
Canterbmy [a.d. 655]. He was consecrated by Ithamar, 
bishop of Kochester, who was succeeded in that see by 
Damianus. 

[a.d. 653.] The sixth part, which follows, relates the 
conversion of the Middle-Aiigles^, that is, the Angles of the 
midland district, under their prince Peada, who governed 
that people for his father Penda. King Oswy had given 
his daughter in marriage to Peada, on condition that he 
would become a Christian ; but he was mainly influenced 
to this by the persuasion of Alfrid, a son of Oswy's, who 
had married his sister, the daughter of Penda. Ac/Cordingly 
Peada was baptized, vdth his family, by Bishop Finan, at a 
village which is called At-the-Wall ; and having secured the 
help of four priests, Cedda and Adda, Betti and Duma, he 
returned with them to his own coimtry. Nor did King 
Penda oppose the conversion of those of his own nation, 
that is, the Mercians who were so disposed, but he treated 
with contempt believers who were ill-livers. Two years 
afterwards the general conversion of the people of Mercia 
took place in this way : King Oswy, being unable to bear 
the intolerable inroads of King Penda, offered him an enor- 
mous tribute; but Penda the Strong, having resolved on 
' Bede, book iii. c. 21. 



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A.D. 655.] THE TTEiLNT PENDA BLAIN. 103 

exterminating the people of Oswy, rejected the offering. 
Upon this Oswy, driven to despair, exclaimed, "If this 
heisLthen refiises to accept our gifts, let us offer them to him 
that will, even God."* Thereupon he made a vow that he 
would dedicate his daughter to the Lord, and would give 
twelve fiarms to the monasteries. Then with a few troops 
he attacked a multitude; indeed it is reported that ihe army 
of the heathens was thrice as great as his, as they had 30 
legions in battle array under renowned generals. Against 
these Oswy and his son Alfiid mustered but a very small 
force, but, trusting in Christ as their leader, they joined 
battle with the pagans. Oswy's other son, Egfrid, was at 
that time .detained as a hostage among the Mercians, by 
the Queen Cynwise; and Ethelwald, King Oswald's son, 
who ought to have come to their aid, was on the side of 
their enemies, and was one of their leaders against his 
country and his uncle. However, during the battle he 
withdrew from the fight, and waited the issue in a place of 
safety. In this engagement the pagans were defeated, and 
all the 30 commanders were slain ; for the God of battles 
was with his faithful people, and broke the might of King 
Penda, and unnerved the boasted strength of his arm, and 
caused his proud heart to fail, so that his assaults were not 
as they were wont to be, and the arms of his enemies pre- 
vailed against them. He was struck with amazement at 
finding that his foes were now become to him what he had 
formerly been to them, and that he was to them what they 
had been to him. He who had shed the blood of others 
now suffered what he had inflicted on them, while the earth 
was watered with his blood, and the ground was sprinkled 
with his brains. Almost all his allies were slain, amongst 
whom was Ethelhere, brother and successor of Anna, kmg 
of the East- Angles, the promoter of the war, who fell with 
the auxiliary troops he led. The battle was fought near 
the river Winwed^ the waters of which, from excessive 
rains, were not only deep, but overflowed its banks, so that 
many more were drowned in the flight than fell by the 
sword. 
In consequence, Ethelfreda, King Oswy's daughter, be- 

* Bede^ book ill c. 24. ^ The Aire, near Leeds. 



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104 HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [bOOK in. 

came a nun in the convent of Herteu, that is, " the Isle c^ 
the Hart."^ Afterwards she founded a monastery in 
Streaneshalch ^, of which she hecame the ahhess, and ^ere 
died. In it were interred her father Oswy, with her mother 
Eanfleda, and her mother's father, Edwin. King Oswy go- 
verned the people of Mercia and the other southern pro- 
vinces for three years after the death of Penda, and also 
reduced to submission great part of the nation of the Picts. 
He conferred on his kinsman Peada, the son of Penda, the 
government of the southern Mercians, containing 5000 
ftimihes, divided by the river Trent from the northern 
Mercians, who amounted to 7000 families. Peada, however, 
was soon after murdered, through the treachery of his vdfe. 
The Mercian tribes were for three years subject to King 
Oswy, who freed them from their impious tyrant, and con- 
verted them to the Christian faith. Diuma became the 
first bishop of the Middle-Angles, as well as of Lindisfame 
and the Mercians. He died and was buried in Mercia, 
and was succeeded by Ceollach, who, however, retired to 
the Scots from whom he came. But after the three years 
befo'^e mentioned, the chiefs of the Mercians rebelled against 
King Oswy, setting up Wulfhere, the son of Penda, for 
king. He reigned seventeen years, during which Trumhere 
was the first bishop, Jaruman the second, Chad the third, 
and Wilfrid the fourth. 

[a.d. 653.1 At that time also the East-Saxons^, who had 
formerly expelled Mellitus, returned to the faith. For 
Sigebert, who reigned next to Sigebert, smuamed the 
Little, was then king of that nation, and an ally of King 
Oswy. He often visited him, and being instructed by him, 
was baptized by Bishop Finan, in the royal village called 
At-the-Wall, which is distant twelve miles from the eastern 
sea. Cedd, invited from Middle-Anglia, became the 
bishop in Essex, and baptized multitudes in the town of 
Itancester *, which is on tiie bank of the river Pente, and in 
Tilaburgh ^, which lies on the bank of the Thames. There 

* Now Hartlepool. 

* '♦ The bay of the Llghihonse "—Bede, Now Whitby, in the Nortk 
Biding of Yorkshire. 

3 Bede, book iii. c. 22. 

* Near Maldon, in Essex : the river Pente is now called the Blackwater. 
^ Tilbury, in E^ssez, opposite Gbaveseud. 



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A.D. 652.] CHURCH BUILT AT LINDI8FARNE. 106 

was a certain nobleman with whom communion was for- 
bidden, because he had contracted an unlawful marriage. 
The king, however, slighting the prohibition, partook of an 
entertainment at his house. On his return he met the 
bishop, and threw himself at his feet. The bishop in- 
censed, touched the king, thus humbled before him, with 
his rod, and foretold his death in the same house in 
which he had offended. It happened soon afterwards that 
the nobleman and his brother assassinated the king in 
that house, saying they did it because he was too gentle 
and forgiving to his enemies. 

Sigebert was succeeded by Suidhelm, who was baptized 
by Cedd himself in East-Anglia, at Kendlesham, that is, 
Kendle's-House ; and Ethelwald, king of that nation, and 
brother of Anna, king of the same people, was his god- 
father. Ethelwald, king of the Deiri, and son of Oswald, 
granted to this same Cedd an estate at Lestingau', for 
building a monastery. After its erection he often retired 
there from his bishopric in Essex, and happening to do so 
in the time of a mortality, he there died. 

[a.d. 652.] In the meantime Finan the bishop erected 
a church of hewn timber in the Isle of Lindisfame^. It 
was afterwards consecrated by the Archbishop Theodore, 
and Eadbert, bishop there, covered the walls and roof 
with lead. When Einan died, he was succeeded by Col- 
man, who kept Easter irregularly, as Aidan and Finan had 
done. Whereupon a conference was held in the presence 
of King Oswy and King Alfrid his son. On one side were 
Colman and Cedd before named ; on the other was Agil- 
bert, bishop of the West-Saxons, who had come to his 
friend Eang Alfrid, with James, a deacon of Paulinus. Of 
whom the right part prevailed. Cedd afterwards observed the 
Feast of Easter properly; while Colman, beiug unwilling to 
change the usage of Father Aidan, returned to his own 
country, carrying part of his relics with him. Tuda suc- 
ceeded him in Sie see of Northumbria ; but Eata was ap- 
pointed, first abbot, and then bishop, of Lindisfame. 
The three Scottish bishops — ^Aidan, Finan, and Colman — 
were extraordinary patterns of sanctity and fingaUty. They 

* Lastingham; in Yorkshire. ^ Bede, book iii. co. 25, 26. 



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106 HENBY OF HUNTINGDOK. [bOOK lU. 

never entertained the gi-eat men of the world, for such 
never visited them except to pray. The king himself, when 
he came to prayer, had only £ve or six attendants, and 
either at once departed, or partook of the repast of the 
brethren. So free from avarice were the priests of that 
age, that they refused to accept grants of land, unless they 
were forced upon them. 

[a.d. 664.] Not long afterwards there was an eclipse of 
the sun, on the 3rd of May, about the tenth hour of the 
day^ It was followed by a grievous pestilence, which de- 
populated Britain and Ireland with its ravages. Bishop 
Tuda died of this pestilence, and was buried at Wemalet^ 

In the meantime ^ Alfrid, the son of Oswy, who already 
governed part of his fiather's dominions, sent Wilfrid the 
priest to the king of the Franks^ to be consecrated bishop. 
Accordingly, he was solemnly ordained by Agilbert already 
mentioned, who presided over the see of Paris, assisted by 
many other bishops, at the royal villa of Compeigne. King 
Oswy also, imitating the prudent policy of his son, when 
the Archbishop of York died, sent the priest Ceadda [Chad] 
to Wini, bishop of the East-Saxons, by whom he was 
ordained bishop of the church of York. Chad being con- 
secrated bishop, set himself to follow the rule of his master 
Aidan, and the eiMmple of his brother Cedd, travelling not 
on horseback, but on foot, devoted to learning, studying 
the truth, continent and humble. Wilfrid also returning 
into Britain after his consecration, added many things to 
the teaching of the English chiurch. 

[a.d. 665.] Sighere and Sebbi succeeded King Suidhelm 
in Essex*, but Sighere and his people relapsed to idolatry in 
consequence of the mortality which has been already men- 
tioned. Whereupon King Wulfhere sent to them Bishop Jaru- 
man, who happily succeeded in recovering them to the feuth* 
At that time Pope Vitalian addressed letters to Oswy and 

* Bede, book iil c. 27. 

^ Bede calls this place Pegnaleih ; t^e Saxon Ohnmicle, Wagele. It wis 
probably Finchale, in the parish of St. Oswalds, on the western bank of the 
Wear, near Durham. 

® Bede, book iii. c. 28. * Clotaire, king of Neustria. 

* Bede, book iii, c. 30 ; and book iv. c. 1. 

* Sighere and Sebbi were two petty kings, subject to Wulfhere, paramount 
king of all Mercia. Jaruman was bishop of Litchfield. 



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A.D. 669.] THEODORE ARCHBISHOP. 107 

Egbert, the greatest of the English kings, who had con- 
sulted him on the state of the church, and the question re- 
garding the feast of Easter. Soon afterwards he sent over 
Theodore, whom he had consecrated archbishop [of Can- 
terbury]. 

[a.d. 669.] Theodore^ ordained Putta to the see of Ko- 
cbester in the place of Damianus, and at the request of 
King Wulfhere he translated Cedd from the monastery of 
Lestingham to the see of Lichefeld^, where he became 
celebrated for miracles, which will be related in their proper 
place. King Oswy falling sick and dying, he was suc- 
ceeded by his son Egfrid, in the third year of whose- reign 
Theodore assembled a council of bishops, the decrees of 
which will have a place in our last Book. After this, 
Theodore deposed Winfiid, bishop of the Mercians, for 
some act of insubordination, and ordfdned Sexwulf in his 
stead. He also made Erconwald bishop of London in 
the time of the kings Sebbi and Sighere. The miracles 
wrought by Erconwald will be mentioned in their place. 
At that time [a.d. 676 ^1, Ethelred, king of the Mercians, 
ravaged Kent, and laid Eochester in ruins. Putta, the 
bishop, retired, and Chichelm was appointed to the see in 
his place ; he also was compelled to relinquish it from the 
penury to which it was reduced. He was succeeded by Geb- 
mund. That same year [a.d. 678^] a comet was visible 
every morning for three months. 

Egfrid, king of Northumbria, expelled Wilfrid from 
his bishopric^. In his place Bosa was appointed to the 
diocese of Deira, and Eata to that of Bemicia, the one 
having his cathedral at York, the other at Haugulstad or at 
Idndisfame. At that time also Eadhed was ordained bishop 
over the province of Lindsey, which King Egfrid had lately 
wrested from Wulfhere. Eadhed was the first bishop, Ethel- 
win the second, Edgar the third, and Kinebert the fourth; 
who, according to Bede, held it in his time. Before Eadhed, 
it was governed by Serwulf, who was also bishop both of 
the Mercians and die Middle-Angles ; so that when he was 

>' Bede, book iv. cc. 2. 6. 15. 

2 " The field of the dead." The see of Lichfield, now founded, was for 
a short time^ in the reign of Oi!a, an archbishopric. 
8 Sax. Chron. * Bede, book iv. c 12. 



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108 HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK m. 

expelled from Lindsey, he retained his jurisdiction over 
those provinces. Archbishop Theodore consecrated Eadhed, 
Bosa, and Eata at York; and three years after the de- 
parture of Wilfrid, he added two other bishops to their 
number, Tumbert for the church of Haugulstad, Eata re- 
maining at Lindisfame ; and Trumwine to the province of 
the Picts, which was at that time subject to the Enghsh. 
Eadhed returning from Lindsey, because King Ethehed 
had recovered that province, governed the church of Ripon. 
[a.d. 681.] Our seventh division relates to the conver- 
sion of the South-Saxons', which was accompHshed by 
Wilfrid, who when he was expelled from his bishopric, as 
already mentioned, after visiting Rome, retin:ned into 
Britain, and converted to the faith the South-Saxons, con- 
sisting of 7000 famines. Ethelwalch, their king, had been 
baptized shortly before in the province of Mercia by the 
persuasion of King Wulfhere, who was his godfather, and in 
token of adoption gave him the Isle of Wight and the dis- 
trict of Meanwara^ in the nation of the West-Saxons. With 
the conciurence, therefore, or rather to the great satisfaction 
of the king, the preaching of Wilfrid brought first the 
nobles and soldiers, and then the rest of the people, to the 
sacred fount of ablution. On that very day rain fell, the 
failure of which for three years had caused a grievous 
famine, by which the coimtiy was depopulated. So much 
so, that it is reported, that forty or fifty men, exhausted 
with himger, would go together to some precipice over- 
hauging the sea, and hand-in-hand cast themselves over to 
perish by the fall or be swallowed up by the waves. But 
the rain thus concurring with the baptism, the earth re- 
vived again, fresh verdure was restored to the fields, and 
the season becsime prosperous and fruitful. Thus the 
hearts and the flesh of all rejoiced in the living God. The 
bishop also taught the people to fish in the sea ; for, up to 
that time, they had fished only for eels. Having collected 
nets, he had ikem cast in the sea, and 300 fishes being 
taken, he gave 100 to the poor, 100 to the owners of the 
nets, reserving 100 for his own disposal. Seeing which, 
the people listened more willingly to the promises of spiri- 

* Bede, book iv. cc 13-15. ^ Part of Hampshire. 



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A.D. 681-6.] ISLES OF SELSET AND WIGHT 109 

tual good from one from whom they derived temporal 
benefits. King Ethelwalch had granted him an island con- 
taining 87 families called Selsey, or the island of the Sea- 
Calf. It is surroimded on all sides by the sea, except the 
space of a sling's-cast towards the west. Such a place is 
called by the Latins a peninsula, by the Greeks a cherso- 
nesus. Here Wilfrid foimded a church and monastery, 
where he lived for five years, that is, tmtil the death of 
King Egfrid ; having converted and given fi:eedom to 250 
men and women slaves who were attached to the land^ 

[a.d. 685.] Meanwhile, Ceadwalla, a young man of the 
royal race of the Gewissse, being banished from his coimtry, 
invaded Sussex and slew King Ethelwalch ; but he was soon 
afterwards expelled by the king's commanders, Berthun 
and Andhun, who before^ held the government [of that 
province]. When, however, Ceadwalla became king of the 
Gewissse, he put Berthun to death, and both he and his 
successors grievously ravaged that province ; so that during 
the whole period, Wilfrid having been recalled home, it was 
without a bishop of its own, and was subject to the Bishop 
of Winchester. 

Ceadwalla likewise •\ when he became king, conquered 
the Isle of Wight, the inhabitants of which were still idola- 
ters, and in fulfilment of a vow granted the fourth part of 
the island to Bishop Wilfrid, who happened to be there 
on a visit from his own nation. The island is of the mea- 
surement belonging to 1200 families, so that the posses- 
sion given to the bishop included 300. The two sons 
of Atwald, the king of the island who had been already 
slain, being also about to be put to death, the Abbot of 
Ketford^, that is **the Ford of Keeds," obtained leave from 
King Ceadwalla to baptize them first. Thus the Isle of 
Wight was the last district of Britain which was converted; 

* This cliiircli and monastery, shortly afterwards, in 711, were made the 
seat of the first bishop of the South-Saxons. In 1070 Bishop Stigand 
translated it to Chichester. There are no vestiges remaining of the former 
cathedral, Selsey Island itself having entirely disappeared, from the gradual 
encroachments of the sea on the Sussex coast 

^ Bede says " afterwards," which seems a better reading than Henry of 
Huntingdon's. 

^ Bede, book iv. c. 10. 

^ Eedbridge, at the head of the Southampton Water. 



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110 HENRY OF HUiniNGDON. [BOOK HI. 

and when all the p'royinces of Britain had received the 
Christian Mth, the Archhishop Theodore, that he might 
confirm the Mth hoth of the old and new converts, held a 
comicil of the hishops of Britain to expound the Catholic 
helief ; and what they declared was committed to writing 
for a perpetual memorial. Which synodal letter I have 
judged it right to prefix to the heginning of the following 
Book, in vdiich is purposed a continuation of the acts of 
the Christian kings of the English to the time of the arrival 
and wars of the Danes ; all the divisions of this present 
Book being now completed in the order I proposed. 



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A.D. 680.] SYNOD OF HATFIELD. Ill 



BOOK IV. ^ 

" In the name of otir Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ : 
in the reigns of our most pious lords, Egfrid, king of the 
Humhrians, his tenth year; Centwine, king of Wessex, 
the fifth year of his reign ; Etheh-ed, king of the Mercians, 
the sixth year of his reign; Aldulf, king of the East- 
Angles, the seventeenth year of his reign; and Lothaire, king 
of Kent, the seventh year of his reign ; on ihe 17th day of 
[the kalends of] October, ihe seventh indiction ; Theodore, 
by the grace of God Archbishop of Canterbury and of the 
whole island of Britain, presiding, and the other bishops of 
the British Island, venerable men, sitting with him at the 
place which in the Saxon tongue is called Hethfeld^; the 
holy gospels being placed before them. 

" Having consulted together, we have set forth the true 
and orthodox belief, as our Lord Jesus Christ, when incar- 
nate, delivered it to his disciples who saw him present and 
heard his words, and as it has been handed down to us by 
the creed of the holy Fathers, and, in general, by all the 
holy and universal councils, and with one voice by all the 

' Henry of Huntingdon, in ihia Fonrth Book, retnms to the goieral his- 
tory of the Bnglish kings and people, the thread of which he had broken, to 
introduce in his Third Book an account of their conversion, and of ecclesiasti- 
cal affiiirs generallj, to the time when the last of the kings of the Heptarchy- 
embraced the Chnstian &ith ; the period ranging from the arrival of St. 
Augustine and the conversion of Ethelbert and the kingdom of Kent, a.d. 
597, to that of the South-Saxons, a.d. 681. Henry of Huntingdon, how- 
ever, commences this Fourth Book by inserting a document, the synodal 
letter of the Council held at Hatfield [a.d. 680], which properly belongs to 
the subject of the Third Book ; and as it would have formed a fitter con- 
clusion to that part of his history, one does not see why it was reserved for 
the commencement of this. Henry of Huntingdon stUl follows Bede, as 
his main authority, to the point where Bede's History ends, in 731 ; making 
also occasional use of the Saxon Chronicle. 

« This Council was held A.D. 680, at BishopVHatfield, in Hertfordshire. 



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lia HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK IV. 

approved doctors of the Catholic Church. We, therefore, 
following them religiously and orthodoxly, in conformity 
with their divinely-inspired doctrine, do profess that we 
firmly believe and confess, according to the holy Fathers, 
properly and truly, the Father and the Son and the Holy 
Ghost, a Trinity consubstantial in unity, and unity in 
trinity; that is, one God subsisting in three consubstantial 
persons of equal glory and honoin:." 

And after more of this sort appertaining to the profession 
of the true faith, the holy Council added this to its synodal 
letter : " We accept the ^\e holy and general coimcils of the 
blessed Fathers acceptable to God ; viz., that of Nice, where 
318 bishops were assembled against the heretic Anus and his 
most impious doctrines ; that of Constantinople, composed 
of 150 bishops, against the insane tenets of Macedonius 
and Eudoxius ; the first council of Ephesus, of 200 bishops, 
against the wicked subtlety of Nestorius and his doctrines , 
that of Chalcedon, composed of 430 bishops against Euty- 
ches and Nestorius and their tenets ; and the fifth council 
which was again assembled at Constantinople in the reign 
. of Justinian the younger, against Theodore and Theodoret, 
as well as the epistles of Iba and their controversies with 
Cyril." And a little afterwards: "We receive also the 
council held at Kome, when the most holy Martin was Pope, 
the first indiction, and in the ninth year of the most pious 
Emperor Constantine : and we glorify our Lord Jesus Christ 
as the holy Fathers glorified Him, neither adding nor dimi- 
nishing anything; and we anathematize with heart and 
mouth those whom they anathematized, and whom they 
received we receive, giving glory to God the Father, who 
was without beginning, and to his only-begotten Son, be- 
gotten by the Father before all ages, and to the Holy Ghost, 
proceeding firom the Father and the Son in an ineffable 
manner, as they taught who have been already mentioned, 
the holy apostles, prophets, and doctors. We also, who 
with Theodore, archbishop, have thus set forth the Catholic 
faith, have subscribed our names thereto." 

There were present at this synod, John, the precentor 
of the church of St. Peter at Kome, and abbot of the mo- 
nastery of St. Martin, who had lately come from Eome by 
order of Pope Agatho, as also the venerable Abbot Bene- 



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A.D. 686.] WEST SAXONS INVADE KENT. 113 

diet who had founded a monastery dedicated to St. Peter 
near the mouth of the river Were ^ He had gone to Eome 
to obtain a confirmation of the privileges granted to that 
monastery by King Egbert, and now returned in company 
with the said John tbe precentor. Benedict was succeeded 
by Abbot Ceolfidd, imder whom Bede lived.. John taught 
them to sing in tins monastery after the Eoman . practice. 
He also left there a copy of the decrees of the council 
held by Pope Martin, at which he was present. As he was 
returning to Rome, carrying with him the testimony of the 
conformity of the faith of 3ie English bishops, he died on 
the way at Tours, where he was bmied^. 

Having now treated of these [ecclesiastical] affairs, I 
return to a continuation of the history of the English 
kings, from which we broke off at the end of the Second 
Book* : and the sequel of oiu" narrative must be connected 
with that context, that it may now proceed in regular order. 

[a.I). 686.] After the death of Kentwin, kmg of the 
West-Saxons, Ceadwall, who succeeded him, with Qie aid of 
his brother Mul, obtained by force possession of the Isle 
of Wight. This Mul, his brother, was a man of courteous 
and pleasing manners, of prodigious strength, and of noble 
aspect, so that he was generally esteemed, and his renown 
was very great. These two brothers made an irruption into 
the province of Kent for the sake of exhibiting their prowess 
and augmenting their glory. They were not yet baptized, 
though their predecessors, and the whole nation, had be- 
come Christians. They met with no opposition in their 
invasion of Kent, and plundered the whole kingdom. For, 
at this time, the throne was vacant by the death of Lothaire, 
king of Kent. This enterprising kmg had been wounded 
in a battle with the East-Saxons, against whom he had 
marched in concert with Edric, son of Egbert, and so 
severe were his woimds, that he died in the hands of those 
who endeavom-ed to heal them. After him Edric reigned 

* Now Monk-Wearmouth, where Venerable Bede passed the early part of 
his monastic life. 

* Bede's Eccles. Hist., book iv. cc. 17, 18. 

^ Book II. concludes with the year 681, the period of the conversion 
of the last of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, and with a summary of the reigns 
of all the kings of the Heptarchy to that time. See p. 63. 

I 



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114 HENBT OF HUNITNODON. [BOOK IV. 

one year in ELent without the love and respect of his 
peopled Meanwhile [a.d. 684] died Egfiid, king of 
Northumbria. The year before he had sent an army into 
Ireland imder his general Beorht, who miserably wasted the 
inoffensive inhabitants, though they had been always friendly 
to the English. However, tibe Irish made all the resistance 
they could, and, imploring the aid of the divine mercy, 
invoked the vengeance erf God on tbeir enemies wi&i 
continual imprecations. Those, indeed, who curse cannot 
inherit the kingdom of heaven ; but it is believed that 
those who were thus justly cursed, on account of their 
cruelty, did soon suffer the penalty of their guilt imder the 
avenging hand oi God. For the very next year srfterwards, 
that same king, rashly leading his anny to ravage the country 
of the Picts, much against the advice of his friends, and 
particularly of Outhbert, of blessed memory, lately ordained 
bishop (for the same year the king had made him bishop 
of LindisfiEtme), he was drawn by a feigned retreat of the 
enemy into the recesses of inaccessible mountains, where he 
was cut off with tiae greatest part of his army. It was his 
lot to fgdl of hearing ihe shouts for his recall raised by his 
friends, as he had reftised to hear tiie voice of Father 
Egbert, dissuading him fr^m the inva^on of the Irish who 
had done him no wrcmg. 

From that time the hopes and courage of the English 
began to fail, and, " tottering, to slide backwards : " for on 
the one hand, the Picts recovered that part of their territory 
which had been occupied by the English, and on the other, 
the Britons regained some degree of liberty, which they 
still ^oy^. Among the fugitives was a man of God, 
named Trumwine, abbot of Abercom, a place just within 
the English pale, but near the straits which divide the 
country of the English from that of the Picts. He retired 
to the monastery of Streneshalch '*, often mentioned before, 
and there he died. On King Egfrid's death he was suc- 
ceeded by Alfrid, a man very learned in the Scriptures, who 
is reported to have been i^frid's brother, and the son of 

^ Bede, book iv. c. 26. 

^ i. e. in the time of Bede, frcnn whom Henry of Huntingdon is quoting ; 
** which they have now enjoyed," 8»y» Bede, " for abomt 46 years." 
Book iv. c. 26. * Whitby. 



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A.D. 687.] mul's death bevengkd. 115 

King Oswy: he nobly retrieved the ruined condition of 
the kingdom, though it was now reduced within narrower 
bounds. 

[a.d. 687.] Ceadwall, in the second year of his reign, 
gave permission to his brother Mul, a brave warrior, to 
make a predatory excursion into Kent, followed by a band 
of brave youths. He was alliu-ed by the rich booty which 
had been gained the preceding year \ nor did he despise 
the reward of a ^orious renown. On this irruption into 
Kent, finding no one able to resist him, the country was 
reduced to a solitude by his ravages, and he cruelly afflicted 
the inoffensive servants of Christ But he was made to 
feel the justice of their curses. For believing the enemy to 
be quite enervated, and foreseeing no opposition to his 
violence, he made an attempt to plunder a certain mansion 
remote from his camp, followed by only twelve soldiers. 
Finding himself, however, here surrounded by numbers he 
had not expected, be fought desperately, and slew many of 
the enemy; but resistance was vain, for though he stood 
his groimd against their assaults, they had recoin^e to 
setting fire to the house, and Mul, with every one of his 
twelve followers, perished in the flames. Thus fell the 
flower of the youth of Wessex, upon which his band of 
yoimg warriors dispersed ; and thus it appears how vain 
is all confidence in human might, when opposed to the 
almighty power of God. "When this reverse was reported 
to Ceadwall, he again entered Kent, and after a fearful 
slaughter and immense pillage, when there was no longer 
any one to slay or anjrthing to plunder, he retired to his 
own dominions, exulting m his triumphant success and 
cruel revenge. 

[a.d. 688.] After reigning two years ', Ceadwall abdicated 
his kingdom for the sake o( God, and of a kingdom which 
is everlasting, and went to Kome ; considering that it would 
be a singular honour for him to be baptized tiiere and then 
die. Accordingly, Pope Sergius baptized him, giving him 
the name of the apostie Peter. Seven days afterwards, on 
the 20th day of April, according to his wish, the 

1 Gesdwall hiaiself, Bttended by ICol, kd the inroad the year before.— See 
Sax. Chron. " Bede, book t. c 7. 

I 2 



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116 HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [bOOK IV. 

king died, while he yet wore the white baptismal robes. 
He was buried in the church of St Peter, and the following 
epitaph was inscribed on his tomb : — 

" High state and place, kindred, a royal crown. 
The spoils of war, great triumphs and renown; 
Nobles, and cities walled to guard his state. 
His palaces and his fiuniliar seat ; 
Whatever skill and valour made his own. 
And what his great fore&thers handed down ; 
Geadwall armipotent, by heaven inspired. 
For love of heav'n left all, and here retir'd; 
Peter to see, and Peter's holy seat. 
The royal stranger turn'd his pilgrim feet ; 
Drew from the fount the purifying streams, 
And shar'd the radiance of celestial beams ; 
Exchanged an earthly crown and barVrous name 
For heav'nly glory and eternal fame ; 
While, following Peter's rule, he from his Lord 
Assum'd his name at Father Sergius' word : 
Washed in the font, still cloth'd in robes of white, 
Christ's virtue rais'd him to the realms of light 
Great was his faith, Christ's mercy greater still. 
Whose counsels far transcend all human skill. 
From Britain's distant isle his vent'rous way, 
O'er lands, o'er seas, by toilsome joumeyings lay, 
Borne to behold, her glorious temple see, 
And mystic offerings make on bended knee. 
White-rob'd among the flock of Christ he shone ; 
His flesh to earth, his soul to heav'n is gone. 
Sure wise was he to lay his sceptre down. 
And 'change an earthly for a heav'nly crown." 

Next to Ceadwall, Ina reigned in Wessex 37 years. Ina 
was son of Cenred, who was son of Ceolwold, who was 
brother of Cinewold ; and both ' [Ceolwold and Cinewold] 
were sons of Cudwine, who was son of Ceauling, who was 
son of Cenric, who was son of Cerdic. In the second year 
of Ina's reign, Theodore, the archbishop, departed this life, 
in the twenty- second year of his episcopacy. In his place, 
Berthwald, abbot of Keculver, was elected and consecrated 
archbishop. Up to this time, the archbishops had all been 
Eomans, henceforth they were of Enghsh race. Berthw^ald 
ordained to the see of Kochester Tobias, a man well 

* See Saxon Chronicle, and the genealogy of the kings of Wessex in 
Florence of Worcester. 



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A.D. 694.] PEACE BETWEEN KENT AND WESSEX. 117 

taught in the Latm, Greek, and Saxon tongues. At that 
time there were two Idngs in Kent, reigning not by right of 
royal descent, but by conquest, Withred and Suoebhard. 

[a.d. 694.] In the sixth year of King Ina, Withred, the 
legitimate king of Kent, being estabhshed on the throne, 
freed his nation by his zeal and piety from foreign invasion. 
Withred was the son of Egbert, who was son of Erchen- 
bert, who was son of Eadbald, who was son of Ethel- 
bert. He held the kingdom of Kent 3S years in honour 
and peace. The same year King Ina marched a formi- 
dable and well-arrayed army into Kent to obtain satisfaction 
for the burning of his kinsman Mul. King Withred, how- 
ever, advanced to meet him not with fierce arrogance, but 
with peaceful suppUcation, not with angry threats, but with 
the honeyed phrases of a persuasive eloquence ; and by 
these he prevailed on the incensed king to lay aside his 
arms and receive from the people of Kent a large siun of 
money as a compensation for the murder of Sae young 
prince. Thus the controversy was ended, and the peace 
now concluded was lasting. Thenceforth the King of Kent 
had a tranquil reign. The third year after this [a.d. 697], 
the Mercians, who are also called South-Himibrians, per- 
petrated a scandalous crime, for they barbarously murdered 
Ostrythe, the wife of their King Ethelred, and sister of King 
Egfrid. 

[a.d. 699.] In the eleventh year of Ina, Beorht, the 
general of Egfrid, already named, became a victim to the 
maledictions of the Irish, whose chm'ches he had destroyed, 
just as his master had before suffered. For in hke manner 
as Egfrid invading the territoiy of the Picts fell there, so 
Beorht marching against them to revenge the death of his 
lord was by them slain. About this time 700 years are 
reckoned from our Lord's incarnation. Ethelred, the son of 
Penda, king of Mercia, under the influence of divine grace, 
became a monk in the twenty-ninth year of his reign, and 
was buried in peace at Bardenic ^ He was succeeded by his 
kinsman Kenred, who was like him in piety and fortune; for 
when he had nobly reigned for five years, he still more nobly 
resigned his crown, and going to Kome, became a monk, in 

1 Bardney Abbey, in Lincolnshire. 



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118 HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK 17. 

the pontificate of Pope Constantine, and remained there to 
the end of his days. With him went OflGa, son of Sighew, 
king of the East-Saxons, who would otherwise haye sntf- 
ceeded to the kingdom, but coming to Eome in the same 
spirit of devotion, he also submitted to the monastic rule. 
We may well imitate the blessed resolve of these two kings, 
Ethebed and Kenred, whose names are h^d in everlasting 
remembrance. Relinquishing their crowns, their wives, their 
cities, their kindred, and all they possessed, they became 
an example to thousands for doing the like. O, gracious 
God! how glorious will be the crowns which Tbou wilt 
restore to them, and which Thou, the great high priest, wilt 
Thyself place on their heads in the day of joy and triumph, 
when all the millions of the heavenly hosts, and of saints 
from the earth, accompanying those holy kings, and desiring 
to see their faces, they shall bear firuit, not a hundred, but 
a thousand-fold, fruit of a sweet savour, fruit much to be 
desired, and which shall be grateful even in tliy sight, O 
merciful God ! Who, even now, kindled by the fire of ihe 
Holy Spirit, would not follow the example of those kings 
who are kings indeed, that their joy may be still increased 
by fresh firuits, and that they may present to Thee richer 
offerings of those who follow them in righteousness, with 
holy triumph ! Alas ! I must cut short my discourse con- 
cerning these kings of heaven, but I pray that it may be 
fixed in our abject and sluggish souls. Returning now from 
heaven to earth, we find that Ceolred succeeded these 
kings in the kingdom of Mercia, which he governed with 
honour for eight years, inheriting his father's and grand- 
father's virtues. 

[a.d. 705 ^] In the twentieth year of his reign, Ina divided 
the bishopric of Wessex, which had formed one diocese, 
into two ^. The eastern part from the woods [the Weald], 
was held by Daniel, the western byAldhelm^ who was suc« 

1 Bede, book v. c. 18. 

^ Henry of Huntingdon here &11b into two eitors ; first, the division of 
the diocese of Wessex was made in the seventemth year of King Ina^ 
JLD. 705; secondly, Aldhelm died a.d. 709, in the twenty-first, not the 
twentieth year of Ina. His dates are erroneous to the year 725. — Petrie, 

^ Daniel was Bishop of Winchester, the see of which included the 
counties of Hants, Surrey, Sussex, and the Isle of Wight. Aldhelm was 



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A.D. 705.] BEATH OF WILFRID, 119 

ceeded by Forthere. The same year Bishop Wilfrid, who 
will not be forgotten in my Book of Miracles, died at 
Oundle, in tiie forty-fifth year of his episcopacy, and was 
buried at Eipon^ The next year, Ina, and Nun his kins- 
man, fought with Gerent, king of Wales ^. In the be- 
ginning of this battle Sigbald, a general, was slain; at 
length, however, Gerent and his followers were put to 
flight, leaving their arms and spoils to the enemy who pur- 
sued them. At that time also, Beorhtfrith, the ealdorman, 
checked the arrogance of the Picts, engaging them between 
Hsefeh and Caere, and by the numbers that were slain he 
revenged the deaths of Kmg Egfrid and his general Beorht. 
Acca, his priest, succeeded Wilfrid as bishop. Alfrid, king 
oi Northumbria, had died four years before [a.d. 705] at 
Driffield, having not quite completed the twenty-fourth year 
of his reign. He was succeeded by his son Osred, a youth 
only eight years old. He reigned eleven years, and fell in 
battle by the chance of war near Mere [a.d. 716]. Cenred 
his successor reigned two years ; after whose death, Osric 
reigned there eleven years. All these four kings, therefore, 
governed Northumbria in the time of King Ina. 

[a.d. 715.] There was a battle between Ina, in the twenty- 
sixth year of his reign, and Ceolred, king of Mercia, the 
son of Ethelred, near Wonebirih^, where &e slaughter was 
so great on both sides, that it is difficult to say who sus- 
tained the severest loss. The year following the same 
Ceolred, king of Mercia, departed this life, and was buried 
at Litchfield. He was succeeded in the kingdom of Mercia 
by Ethelbald, a brave and active prince, who reigned vic- 
toriously 41 years. That same year Egbert, a venerable 

8|^inted to tlie new bbfaoprie of Sberbome, consistiiig of the comities of 
I>or8et, Somerset, Wilts, Devon, and Cornwall. This see continued for 
more than three centuries, -vrhen it was remoyed first to Wilton, afterwards 
to Old Sanim, and finally to New Sarum, or Salisbury. — Giles. 

* Bede, book v. c. 19. 

^ Henry of Huntingdon means GomwalL Higbald was skin the same 
year, but not in this battle. — See Scix. Chi'on., a.d. 710. 

• Or Wodnesbeorg (Woden's town) ; Wanboroiigh, on the Wiltshire 
downs, mentioned in a former note. " There is no reason to transfer the 
scene of action to Woodbridge, as some have supposed, from an erroneous 
reading." — Ingram, 



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120 HENRY OP HUNTINGDON. [BOOK IV. 

man, brought over the monks of Hii^ to the Catholic ob- 
servance of Easter and the CathoUc tonsure. Havmg hved 
with them fourteen years, and being fiilly satisfied with the 
reformation of the brotherhood, during the paschal solemni- 
ties on the feast of Easter he rejoiced that he had seen the 
day of the Lord, " he saw it, and was glad." At that time^ 
Naiton, king of the Picts, was converted to the true Pasch 
by a letter of admonition addressed to him by Abbot Ceol- 
Md, who, after the death of Benedict before mentioned, 
presided in the monastery which is situated at the mouth of 
the river Wear, and near the river Tyne, at a place called 
Ingirvus'. The letter which he wrote to the king concern- 
ing the Pasch and the greater tonsm*e was full of weight, 
so that what the abbot recommended in his letter, the king 
enforced by his royal authority throughout his kingdom *. 
About this time Cuthbiu:h, sister of Cwenburh, who had 
been married to Egfrid, king of Northumbria, but sepa- 
rated from him during his life, founded an abbey at Wine- 
bume ^. 

[a.d. 725.] Ina, in the thirty-sixth year of his reign, 
marched his army into Sussex, and fought against the South- 
Saxons with vigom* and success. In this batUe he slew 
Ealdbert, whom he had before compelled to flee from a 
castle called Taunton, which Ina had built. This same 
Eadbert, the Etheling, who was the king's enemy, had got 
possession of the castle, but Ina's Queen Ethelburga 
stormed and razed it to the ground, compelling Eadbert 
,to escape into Surrey. The same year, Withred, king of 
Kent, died, after a reign of almost 34 years, leaving three 

' lona, or Icomkill. 

^ Henry of Huntingdon transposes the acts of Egbert and Ceolfrid in this 
controversy. Bede, book v. c. 21, makes the letter of Ceolfrid to Naiton pre- 
cede the conversion of the monks of lona. Its supposed date is a.d. 710. 

• Jarrow, between the Wear and the Tyne. 

* This long epistle is given in full by Bede, book v. c. 21. See an expla- 
nation of the controversy concerning Easter by Professor de Morgan, of 
University College, London. As to the tonsure, see Dr. Giles's note in 
Bede's Ecclesiastical History, book iii. c. 26. The Roman clergy shaved the 
crown of the head in a circle ; the Scottish priests permitted the hair to grow 
on the back, and shaved the forep&rt of the head from ear to ear, in the form 
of a crescent, * Wimbum, Dorsetshire. 



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A.D. 728.] INA GOES TO BOMB. 121 

sons his heirs, Ethelbert, Edbert, and Ahic. About this 
time Tobias, bishop of Eochester, the disciple of Arch- 
bishop Theodore and Abbot Adrian, departed this life, and 
was succeeded by Aldwulf. 

[a.d. 728.] Ina, that powerful and prosperous king, re- 
signing his crown to Ethelward, his kinsman, went to Rome ^, 
and there, a pilgrim upon earth, was enrolled in the service 
of heaven. How rapid are the changes of the world may 
be remarked from what occurred in the time of this king. 
During his reign ^ the emperors were, Justinian the younger, 
who reigned ten years ; Leo, three years ; Tiberius, seven 
years ; Justinian II., six years ; Phihp, one year and a half; 
Anastasius, three years ; Theodosius, one year ; Leo, nine 
years ; and Constantine, in the third year of whose reign 
Ina went to Rome. The successors of the apostles in 
his time were these : Popes Sergius, John, another John, 
Sisinnius, Constantine, and Gregory, in whose pontificate 
Ina, voluntarily rehnquishing worldly ambition, became an 
exile. The line of the kings of the Franks, in the time of 
Ina was this : King Childeric, King Theodoric, King Clo- 
vis, King Childebert, King Dagobert. In the time of 
Ina, there were admitted to the heavenly mansions, St. 
Heddi, bishop of Winchester; St. Guthrac, hermit of 
Croyland ; and St. John, archbishop of York. The two 
kings nearly connected, Ceadwall and Ina, excelling in 
strength, which they possessed in common with brutes, but 
more excellent in their sanctity, in which they were par- 
takers of the nature of angels, acted nobly, whence " all 
generations shall call them blessed." So also two nearly 
connected kings of Mercia, Ethelred and Kenred, had done 
before ; who, resigning all false pretensions to good, gained 
the true and highest good, which is God. Let, then, the 
kings who are now ruling imitate these wise and blessed 
kings, instead of insane and unhappy princes, the difference 
of whose Uves, and of the end of their lives, my present 

» Bede, book v. c. 7 ; Saxon Chronicle [a.!). 728], "This year King Ina 
went to Borne, and there gave up the ghost'' The establishment of the 
'' English School " at Rome is attributed to Ina ; a full account of which, 
and of the origin of Rome-Scot, or Peter-pence, for the support of it, may be 
seen in Matthew of Westminster. 

^ Ina reigned in Wessex 37 years. — Bede. 



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IJW HENBT OF HUNTmODON. [bOOK IV. 

work exhibits. Wherefore the four kings I have named are 
Hghts to all the kings of the earth, affording them examples 
for imitating the good, and leaving than no excuse for imi- 
tating the evil. And you who are not kings, imitate them, 
that ye may become kings in heaven. For, if indeed, they 
resigned their great estate, while you are unwilling to re* 
sign your lesser advantages, those holy kings will be judges 
of yom' just condemnation. 

[a.d. 728.] In the first year of Ethelward, king oi Wessex, 
he fought a battle with Oswald, a young prince of the royal 
blood* , who aspired to the crown. For Oswald was son of 
Ethelbald, ^o was son of Kinebald, who was son of Cud- 
wine, who was son of Ceaulin, who was son of Kinric. 
But the followers of the young prince being outnumbered 
by the royal troops, though for some time he stoutly bore 
the brunt of the battle and resisted to the utmost, he was 
compelled to fiee, abandoning his pretensions to the crown. 
The aforesaid king was therefore firmly established on the 
throne. 

In the third year of King Ethelward, two^ portentous 
comets appeared near the sun, one preceding its rising, the 
other following its setting, presaging, as it were, dreadM 
calamities both to the east and the west ; or assuredly one 
was the percursor of day, the other of night, to signify that 
misfortunes threatened mankind at both times. The 

1 The Saxon Cfaronide calls him *' the Mthe'^Big* Henry of fiantiBgdon 
inrariably renders tiiis word "a young man," or a "yoimg noble." Bat 
JEtheling was among the Anglo-Saxons a designation of rank, generally ap- 
plied to the heir apparent to the throne, though sometimes extended to the 
more distant branches of the royal race ; and, more rarely, to youths of 
noble blood. The word is derived from asdel, noble ; and ling, expressing 
condition, as we say, hireling, &tling, and also diminatives, as in duckling, 
suckling, &c. We use this title of honour in the translation, instead of the 
inexpressiye phrases by which Henry of Huntingdon has rendered it ; 
as sdso of ealdorman fcr " dux," tliaM for " consul," ffrieve for " vice- 
comes," &c. 

( ^ The Saxon Chronicle, in its established reading, speaks of only one 
'* comet star." Some of the MSS., however, describe two comets, a version 
adopted by Bede, book v. c. 28. Henry of Huntingdon follows Ms amplifr- 
cation of the story, which was probably founded on this various reading; 
The Saxon Chronicle and Bede give the date of a.d. 729, which was, at 
farthest, the second, and not, as Henry of Huntingdon says, the third year 
of Ethelward's reign. 



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A.D. 729.] KEMARKABLE COMET. 12S 

comets tomed their blazing tails towards the narih, as if to 
set the pole on fire. Their first appearance was in the month 
of January, and they remained visible for nearly a fortnight. 
At which time, the Saracens, like a fell pest, spread de- 
Btmction far and wide in France and Spain ; but not long 
afterwards they met in the same country the fate their im- 
piety deserved^. The same year, Osric, king of Northum- 
l»*ia, departing this life, left that kingdom, which he had 
governed fourteen years, to Ceolwulf, brother of King 
Kenred, who had reigned before him. Ceolwulf filled the 
throne eight years. It was for this king that Bede, that 
holy and venerable saint, a man of cultivated genius, and a 
Christian philosopher, wrote the Ecclesiastical History of 
the En^sh, with what advantage to the king his happy end 
shows. 

[a.d. 731.] In the fifth year of Etiielward's reign Berth- 
wald, who had been ardibishop^ nearly 88 years, de- 
parted this life, and Tatwine, who had been a priest at 
Bredune^ in Mercia, was appointed archbishop. He was 
consecrated by those prelates of blessed memory, Ing- 
wald, bishop of London; Daniel, bishop oi Winchester; 
Aldulf, bishop of Eochester ; and Aldwin, bishop of Litch- 
field. Two years afterwards, Ethelbald, the very powerful 
king of Mercia, assembling a formidable army, besieged 
Sumerton^, investing it witii camps formed all round, and asf. 
there was no force to throw in succours to the besieged, 
and it was impossible to hold out against the besiegers, the 
place was surrendered to the king. Ethelward, indeed, who 
was distinguished by his great qualities above all the con- 
temporary kings, resolved to reduce all the provinces of 
England, as £Bur as the river Humber, with their respective 

1 The important battk of Toan, in which Charles Martel defeated the 
Arabi of Spain, and delivered Western Europe from that desolating scourge, 
was fought A.i>. 732. Bede closed his History with the year 731, in the 
reign of Ceolwulf, king of Northumberland, to whom it was dedicated. The 
reference, therefore, to the victory of Charles Martel, in 782, must have be^i 
either an interpolation, or an addition made by the author after the conclu- 
sion of his History ; which latter is probable, as Bede snrriTed till 735, or, 
according to the computation of the &LXon Chrsoicle, 784. 

* Of Canterbury. 

3 A monastery near the Breedon Hills, Worcesteahire. 

* Somerton, in Somersetshire. 



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124 HENET OF HUNTINGDON. [bOOK IV. 

kings, which he accomplished. There was an eclipse of 
the sun the same year. 

In the eighth year of Ethelward, Archbishop Tatwine, a 
prelate of exemplary piety and wisdom, eminently versed in 
sacred Uterature, was taken from among men. Egbert^ was 
raised to the vacant dignity, and received the pallium from 
Kome. The same year, Venerable Bede was raised to the 
heavenly mansions, where his heart had always dwelt. This 
great man, who, with royal virtue, held the reins over his 
own evil propensities and those of others, was not inferior 
even to kings, and therefore may most worthily be esteemed 
a king, and placed in the ranks of kings. 

Bede, a priest of the monastery at Wiremundham and 
Ingurvus ^, having been educated and brought up by Bene- 
dict, abbot of that place, and his successor Ceolfrid, con- 
tinually devoted himself to the study of the Scriptures. He 
was taJien from the world in the sixty-second year of his 
age, mature in years and in wisdom. Ml of days not spent 
in vain, as appears by the nmnber of his works. Amongst 
these he composed three books of commentaries, from fiie 
beginning of Genesis to the birth of Isaac; three books 
concerning the tabernacle, its vessels and vestments ; four 
books on the early part of Samuel to the death of Saul ; 
two books in which he treated allegorically of the building 
of the Temple ; a book containing 30 questions out of the 
Books of Kings ; three books on tiie Proverbs of Solomon ; 
three on the Canticles ; two books of HomiUes on the 
Gospels ; three on Esdra and Nehemiah ; one on the 
Prophecy of Habakkuk ; one on the Book of Tobias ; a col- 
lection of Lessons from the Old Testament; four on the 
Gospel of St. Mark ; two on St. Luke. Whatever he found 
in the minor works of St. Augustine, concerning the apostle, 
he transcribed in order; two books on the Acts of the 
Apostles ; seven books on the Seven Apostolical Epistles ; 
three on the Apocalypse; also chapters of Lessons from 
the New Testament, except the Gospels ; also a book of 

' Henry of Huntingdon here makes two mistakes. Egbert mis made 
archbishop of York the same year that Tatwine died [a.d. 734], and re- 
ceived the pallium the year following. Nothelm succeeded Tatwine in the 
see of Canterbury, receiving the pall in a.d. 736. — See Sax, Ckran, 

• Or *' In Guroum." Jarrow. 



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A.D. 734.] VENEBABLE BEDE's WORKS. 125 

Epistles to various persons ; also a book on the Histories 
of the Saints; also on the Life of St. Cuthbert, first in 
heroic verse, afterwards in prose ; two books also of the 
lives of the Abbots of his own Monastery ; also a Martyro- 
logy; also a book of Hymns; also a book concerning 
Times ; also a book on the Art of Poetry ; and lastly, the 
Ecclesiastical History of the English, in ^\e books, in the 
conclusion of which he devoutly entreats that he may have 
the benefit of the prayers of aU who read it. 

Concerning the state of ecclesiastical affairs in his time,, 
Bede thus speaks^: "At this time, Tatwine is archbishop 
of Canterbury; Aldulf, bishop of Kochester; Ingwald, 
bishop of London ; Aldbert and Hadulao preside as bishops 
over the East-Angles ; Daniel and Forthere are bishops in 
the province of the West-Saxons^; Aldwin is bishop in 
Mercia ^ ; over the people who live to the west of the river 
Severn, Walstod is bishop^; in the province of the Huiccii, 
Wilfiid is bishop ^ ; in the province of Lindsey, Cimebert^ ; 
the Isle of Wight belongs to Daniel, bishop of Winchester^ 
and he administers the province of the South-Saxons^ 
which has been for some years without a bishop of its own'. 
Subject to the King Ceolwulf there are four bishops, Wilfrid, 
of York ; Ethelwald, of Lindisfame; Acca, of Haugulstad^; 
Pecthelm, of * Candida Casa,'^ in which newly- erected see- 
he is the first bishop. 

" Moreover, Eadbert is king of Kent ; Ethelward, king of 
Wessex ; Selred, king of the East-Angles ^^ ; Ceolwulf, king 
of Northumbria ; and Ethelbald, king of Mercia, who is the 
greatest of them all. Such is the state of affairs in the 
year smce the coming over of the English about the 388th ; 

* Eccles. Hist., book v. c. 23. 

3 The one having his seat at Winchester, the other at Sherborne. 
3 At Litchfield. * The see of Hereford. 

* As to the Huiccii, see note, p. 80. Worcester was the seat of thiff 
bishopric. • Sidnacester. 

' The original seat of the bishops of the South-Saxons was at'Selsey, 
which was then vacant. 

• Hexham. 

• Whitherne, where indeed St. Ninius founded a bishopric among the 
Picts, A.D. 412 ; but Pecthelm was the first Saxon bishop. 

*® Selred was king of the East-Saxons. Flor. of Wore. He succeeded 
Ina. 



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126 HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK IV. 

in the 784th year of the incarnation (^ our Lord^, in whose 
never-ending reign let the earth rejoice, and Britain being 
united with them in the joys of the true faith, * let the mul- 
titude of the isles be glad, and rejoice in remembrance ci 
his holiness ! *" 

Thus far I have relied on the authorify of Venerable 
Bede, the priest, in weaving the thread of this my history, 
but chiefly in all those passages in which I have treated of 
ecclesiastical affaire, and in otiber matters also as much as I 
could. Henceforth, it will be my endeavour to commit to 
writing, for the instruction of posterity, whatever I have 
been able to find , by diligent inquiry coUected in the works 
of old authors ; for, as oar learned Bede asserts, in the 
preface to his Histcw^ of the En^ish, " The true rule of 
history is to commit to writing with simplicity, for the 
instruction of posterity, what is gathered frcmi common 
report." 

[A.D. 7S6.] In the t^ith year of King Ethelward, Nothelm, 
the archbidiop, received the pallium from the Pc^e. Not 
long afterwards, Forthere, the bishop^, and the queen 
Frithogitha, leaving her splendid possessions and luziuious 
pleasures, went to Boma In those times very many of the 
English nation, both nobles and common people, clerks 
and laymen, men and women, vied with each other in so 
doing. The same year Ethelwald, bishop of lindisfame, 
departed this hfe, smd Conwulf was advanced to the episcopal 
dignity. Not later, the venerable Acca, priest and afterwards 
bishop <^ Haugulstad, put off this mortal coil. 

In the eleventh year of King Ethelward, Ceolwulf, the 
most illustrious king of Northumbria, performed a most 



1 Henry of HimtingdoB alters tliis date in Bede, which are An. 285 of 
the Saxon era, and 731 of the Christian. This error is the more extra- 
ordinary, as he is here quoting verbatim from Bede's History ; and as Bede 
died in 734, ho could hsurdly have brought up his history to, and dated it in 
that year. Henry of Huntingdon had the Saxon Chronicle befoi5e him^ which 
gives this date; and he himself places the death of Bede in the eightlk 
year of King Ethelward, which coincides with a.d. 733, or 734. I per- 
ceive that Dr. Giles, on the authority of Cuthbert's letter, gives the death of 
Bede in 735.— See his life of Bede, prefixed to the History, in £okn*8 
JEdition, p. 21. 

« Of Winchester. 



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A.D. 737.] ceolwulf's piety. 127 

memorable deed. Now Ceolwulf was son of Cutha, son of 
Cuthwin, son of Ledwold^ son of Egwold, son of Aldelm, 
son of Oeche, son erf King Ida. Ceolwulf, then, who fre- 
quently conversed with Bede while he was yet living, and 
(rften studied, both before and after the death of Bede, 
the History which he had dedicated to him, began to 
ponder with himself diligently on the lives and deaths of 
various kings. He saw, as clear as light, that earthly king- 
doms and worldly possessions are gained with toil, are pos- 
sessed in fear, are lost with regret. And while, to persons 
of inferior judgment and less experience, it might appear 
foolish and irrational, seeing how feir and deli^tfiil worldly 
things are, to be told that these must be relinquished and 
despised, not yet understanding how disquieting is iMs 
world's wealth, how it comes to an end, producing no fruits 
but a late repentance, yet no temptations entangled the 
wise and experienced Idng. He felt within himself that his 
royal power had been established with difficulty, and was 
maintained in fear, while he was unwilling to lose it in 
s<»row. As the Iwd, therefore, and not the slave of his 
high estate, he magnanimously cast from him what he 
considered worthless. Especially he was excited by the 
thought, that while women and boys, and even the better 
sort, thronged to behold him and admire his grandeur, he 
himself was inwardly tormented with horrible fears of 
murder and treason, by which he was consumed bolii in 
mind and body; so that while others counted him most 
fortunate, he, who alone knew the secrets of his heart, 
esteemed himself most wretched. When, then, his reign 
had lasted a short period, that is, eight years, it became 
very evident to him, and he bitteriy lamented, that for such 
an interval he had wasted his life in vain cares and frivolous 
pursuits, and he resolved to dedicate at least the rest of his 
days, not to mistaken folly, but to wisdom and his own best 
interests. Imitating, therefore, the examples he found in 
the History of the holy man just named, this truly illus- 
trious king followed in the track of six illustrious kings. 
These were Ethelred, king of Mercia, and Kenred, his suc- 
cessor ; Ceadwall, king of Wessex, and Ina, his successor ; 
as also Sigebert, king of East-Anglia, who became a monk, 
and was afterwards killed by Penda ; with Sebbi, king of 



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138 HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [©OOK IV. 

Essex, who, also becoming a monk, foresaw with joy the day 
of his death — *' he saw it, and was glad ! " They wasted not 
their substance with harlots, but spent their days in tribu- 
lation, sowing good seed, that they might come again with 
joy, and bring their sheaves with them, an offering to God. 
Accordingly, Ceolwulf filled up the number of seven perfect 
kings, and having assumed the monastic habit, the Lord 
set a crown of precious stones upon his head. He resigned 
his throne to Edbert, who was his kinsman; for he was 
the son of Eata, the son of Ledwold ; and he reigned 21 
years. 

[a.d. 737.] Ethelbald, the haughty king of the Mercians, 
a prince of a different character in this royal fellowship, and 
therefore destined to a different end, despising holiness, and 
setting might above right, invaded Northumbria, where, meet- 
ing with no resistance, he swept away as much booty as he 
could transport w.ith him to his own country. 

[a.d. 741.] King Ethelward died in the fourteenth year of 
his reign, and Cuthred, his kinsmau, who succeeded him, 
reigned over Wessex sixteen years. Meanwhile, the proud 
king Ethelbald continually harassed him, sometimes by in- 
surrections, sometimes by wars. Fortune was changeable ; 
the events of hostilities were, with various results, now 
favourable to the one, then to the other. At one time 
peace was declared between them, but it lasted but for 
a short interval, when war broke out afresh. The same 
year^ Egbert was consecrated archbishop, during the pon- 
tificate of Zachary, and Dun was ordained to Sie see of 
Kochester. 

[a.d. 743.] In the fourth year of his reign, Cuthred joined 
his forces with those of Ethelbald, king of Mercia, with whom 
he was then at peace, against the Britons, who were assem- 
bled in immense multitudes. But these warlike kings, 
with their splendid army, falling on the enemy's ranks on 
different points, in a sort of rivalry and contest which 
should be foremost, the Britons, imable to sustain the brunt 
of such an attack, betook themselves to flight, offering their 
backs to the swords of the enemy, and the spoils to those 

^ That is, the year of Cuthred's accession. For " Egbert," read Cuthbert, 
according to the Saxon Chronicle. He was Archbishop of Canterbury, suc- 
ceeding Nothelm. 



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A.D. 743-752.] cutheed's reign in wessex. 129 

who pursued them. The victorious kings, returning to 
their own States, were received with triumphant rejoicings. 
The year following died Wilfrid, who had been bishop 
of York* 30 years. That same year [a.d. 744] there 
was a remarkable appearance in the heavens; stars were 
seen shooting to and fro in the air, which seemed a pro- 
digy to all beholders. The year following Daniel de- 
ceased, in the forty-third year after he became bishop^. 
The next year King Seldred was slain, as we learn from 
old writers, but they do not tell us how or by whom he 
was slain. 

[a.d. 748.] In the ninth year of Cuthred, Kinric, his son, 
was slain, a brave warrior and bold himter, tender in age, 
but strong in arms, little in years, but great in prowess ; who, 
while he was following up his successes, trusting too much 
to the fortune of war, fell in a mutiny of his soldiers, suf- 
fering the punishment of his impatient temper '*. The same 
year died Eadbert, king of the Kentish men, who wore the 
diadem 22 years. 

[a.d. 750.] In the eleventh year of his reign Cuthred 
fought against Ethelhim, a proud chief, who fomented a 
rebellion against his sovereign, and although he was vastly 
inferior to his lord in number of troops, he held the 
field against him for a long time with a most obstinate re- 
sistance, his exceeding caution supplying the deficiency of 
his force. But when victory had well nigh crowned his 
enterprise, a severe wound, the just judgment of his traitor- 
ous intentions, caused the royal cause to triumph. 

[a.d. 752.] Cuthred, in the thirteenth year of his reign, 
being unable to submit any longer to the insolent exactions 
and the arrogance of King Ethelbald, and preferring liberty 

^ So also the Saxon Chronicle and Florence of "Worcester. He is there 
called " Wilfrid the Younger ; " but "Wilfrid, bishop of Worcester, is pro- 
bably meant, as Wilfred II. of York was succeeded by Egbert in 734. 

^ Daniel was Bishop of Winchester, which see he resigned the year be- 
fore his death. 

* The Saxon Chronicle states simply that Kinric, who is called " the 
Etheling of the West Saxons, was slain." From what source Henry of Hun- 
tingdon gathered the particulars of his death, and the traits of his character, 
we are, as in many other instances, unable to discover. In this case, how- 
ever, there is an air of truth and genuineness in the story. 



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130 HENBY OF HDNTIHGDON. [bOOK IT* 

to the hope of lif^, encountered him at Bereford^ with 
bannered legions. He was attended by Ethelhim, the afore- 
said chief, with whom he was now reconciled, and, supported 
by his valour and counsels, he was able to try the chances 
of war. On the other side, Ethelbald, who was king of 
kings, had in his army the Kentish men, the East-Saxons, 
and the Angles, with a numerous host. The armies being 
drawn up in battle array, and, rushing forward, having nearly 
met, Ethelhun, who led the West-Saxons, bearing the royal 
standard, a golde^ dragon, transfixed the standard-bearer of 
the enemy. Upon this, a shout arose, and the followers of 
Cuthred being much encouraged, battle was joined on both 
sides. Then the thunder of war, the clash of arms, the 
dang of blows, and the cries of the wounded, resounded 
terribly, and a desperate and most decisive battle began, 
according to the issue of which, either the men of Wessex, 
or the men of Mercia, would for many generations be sub- 
ject to the victors. Then might be seen the troops with 
rustling breastplates and pointed helmets and glistening 
spears, with emblazoned standards shining with gold; but a 
rfiort time afterwards stained with blood, bespattered with 
brains, their spears shattered, and their ranks broken, a 
horrible spectacle. The bravest and boldest on both sides 
gathering about their standards, rank rushed desperately on 
rank, dealing slaughter with their swords and Amazonian 
battle-axes. There was no thought of flight, confidence in 
victory was equal on both sides. The arrogance of their 
pride sustained the Mercians, the fear of slavery kindled 
the courage of the men of Wessex. But wherever the 
chief before mentioned fell on the enemy's ranks, there he 
cleared a way before him, his tremendous battle-axe cleaving, 
swift as lightning, both arms and limbs. On the other 
hand, wherever the brave King Ethelbald turned, the enemy 
were slaughtered, for his invincible sword rent armour as if 
it were a vestment, and bones as if they were flesh. When, 
therefore, it happened that the king and the chief met each 

* Burford. " This battle has been much amplified by Henry of Hunting- 
don ; and after him by Matthew of Westminster. The fonner, among other 
absurdities, talks of Amazonian battle-axes. They both mention the banner 
of the golden dragun, &c." — Ingram, note to Sax, Chron. 



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JLD. 763.] WES8EX BECOMES POWEBFUL. 131 

other, it was as when two fires from opposite quarters con- 
sume all that opposes them. Each of them, to excite 
terror in the other, came on with threatening mien, thrust- 
ing forth the right hand, and gathering themselves up in 
their arms struck furious blows, the one against the other. 
But the God who resists the proud, and from whom all might, 
courage, and valour proceed, made an end of his favour to 
King Ethelbald, and caused his wonted confidence to fail. 
Since then he no longer felt courage or strength. Almighty 
God inspiring him with terror, he was the first to flee while 
yet his troops continued to fight. Nor from that day to the 
day of his death was anything prosperous permitted by 
divine Providence to happen to him. Indeed, four years 
afterwards, in another battle at Secandune S in which the 
cam£^e was wonderful, disdaining to flee, he was slain on 
the field, and was buried at Ripon. So this very powerful 
king paid the penalty of his inordinate pride, after a reign 
of 41 years. From that time the kingdom of Wessex was 
firmly established, and ceased not continually to grow pre- 
eminent. 

[a.d. 753.] In the fourteenth year of his reign, Cuthred 
fought against the Britons, who, being unable to withstand 
the conqueror of King Ethelbald, soon took to flight and 
justly suffered a severe defeat without any loss to their 
enemy. The year following, Guthred, this great and power- 
" fill king, after a prosperous and victorious career, ended his 
glory in death. 

Sigebert, a kinsman of the late king's, succeeded him on 
the throne, but he held it only for a short time. For his 
pride and arrogance on account of the successes of his pre- 
decessors became intolerable even to his friends. But when 
he evil-entreated his people in every way, perverting the 
laws for his own advantage or evading them for his own 
purposes, Cumbra, the noblest of his ministers ^ at the 
entreaty of the whole people, made their complaints known 
to the inhuman king, counselling him to rule his subjects 
with greater leniency, and, abating his cruelty, to be more 
amiable in the sight of God and man. For this counsel 

' Saxon Chronicle, " Seckington," Warwickshire t 
^ " Consul/' Henry of Huntingdon ; " Earldorraan," Saxon Chronicle. 

E 2 



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132 HENBY OP HUNTINGDON. [BOOK IV. 

the king most unrighteously put him to death, and, be- 
coming still more inhuman and insupportable, his tyranny 
increased. 

[a.d. 755.] In the beginning of the second year of King 
Sigebert's reign, when his pride and wickedness appeared 
incorrigible, tiie nobles and people of the whole kingdom 
assembled, and, after a careful deliberation, he was by 
unanimous consent expelled from the throne. Cynewulf, 
an illustrious youth of the royal race ^, was elected king. 
Upon which, Sigebert, driven from his States, and fearing no 
less than he deserved, fled into the great wood called An- 
dredeswald^ where he concealed himself. There, a swine- 
herd of Cumbra, the ealdorman, whom he had iniquitously 
put to death, as I before mentioned, foimd the king lying 
in concealment, and, recognising him, slew him on the 
spot in revenge for his master's death. Behold the just 
judgment of the Lord ! See how his justice recompenses 
men according to their deserts, not only in the world to 
come, but even in this life ! Raising up wicked kings for 
the merited chastisement of their subjects, one is permitted 
to continue long in his mad career, liiat a depraved people 
may be the longer oppressed, and the king, becoming still 
more depraved, may be more severely tormented hereafter, 
as in the case of Ethelbald, the king of Mercia, lately spoken 
of; another, Providence visits with swift destruction, to give 
room to breathe for the people ground down by his tyranny, 
and that they may not quickly incur, through the unbridled 
wickedness of their prince, the just doom of eternal retri- 
bution, as in the case of this Sigebert, of whom we are now 
speaking. As for him, indeed, the greater his crimes, the 
lower he sunk in his punishment, which was inflicted by 
the hand of a vile swineherd, being plunged from a depth 

* The Etheling, or heir apparent. 

' And redes- wald, now the Weald of Sussex. The account giyen by the 
Saxon Chronicle, though shorter, is more graphic and precise. It tells us 
that " Cynewulf and the West-Saxon * Witan * depriyed his kinsman Sige- 
bert of his kingdom, except Hampshire, for his unjust doings ; and that he 
held, until he slew the Ealdorman, who longest abode by him. And then 
Cynewulf drove him into Andred, and he abode there until a swineherd 
stabbed him at Privets-flood [Privett, Hampshire], and avenged the Ealdor- 
man Cumbra." The Archdeacon of Huntingdon would have done better if 
he had given the details with more precision, and spared us the homily. 



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A.D. 755.] OFFA, KING OF MERCIA. . 133 

of woe, to woe still deeper. Wherefore, to the eternal 
justice of God be praise and glory, now and ever ! Amen. 

[a.d. 755.] In the first year of King Cynewnlf, Beornred 
succeeded Ethelbald in the kingdom of Mercia ; but his 
reign was short. Foj^Offa dethroned him the same year, 
and filled the throne of Mercia 39 years. He was a 
youth of the noblest extraction, being the son of Thing- 
ferth, who was son of Eanwulf, who was son of Osmod, the 
son of EpaS the son of Wippa^, the son of Creoda, the son 
of Cynewald, the son of Cnebba, the son of Icel, the son of 
JHomser, the son of Ageltheow, the son of Offa, the son of 
Weremund, the son of Withlseg, the son of Woden. Offa 
proved a most warlike king, for he was victorious in succes- 
sive battles over the men of Kent, and the men of Wessex, 
and the Northumbrians. He was also a very religious man, 
for he traaslated the bones of St. Alban to the monastery 
which he had built and endowed with many gifts. He also 
granted to the successor of St. Peter, the Eoman pontiff, a 
fixed tax for every house in his kingdom for ever. 

In the third year of King Cynewulf, Eadbert, king of 
Northumbria, reflecting on the troubled Uves and the un- 
happy deaths of the kings before named, Ethelbald and 
Sigebert, and on the meritorious life and the glorious end 
of hie predecessor Ceolwulf, he chose the better part which 
shall not be taken away from him. For, resigning his 
crown, he submitted to the tonsiu:e which would secure to 
him an everlasting diadem, and put on the black gown 
which would be turned into a robe of celestial splendour. 
He makes the eighth of the kings who voluntarily abdicated 
their kingdoms for the sake of Christ ; nay rather, to speak 
more correctly, exchanged them for an everlasting kingdom ; 
in tlie blessedness of which eight kings joy without end 
exults in manifold and unspeakable delights, while it is 
most blessed to imitate their determination. Eadbert was 
succeeded by his son Oswulph, who only reigned one year, 
being treacherously murdered by his own household. Moll 
Ethelwald, his successor, reigned six years. About this time 
Cuthbeit the archbishop^ died. 

[a.d. 760.] Ethelbert, the Kentish king, attained the 

> Eawa; Pybba; Sax. Chron. » Of Canterbury. 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 



184 HENEY OF HUNTINGDON. [bOOK IV. 

term of life in the sixth year of the reign of Cynewnlf. 
The same year Ceolwulf, formerly king, but now a monk, 
died, or rather was translated to the fruition of his un- 
speakable reward. The following year, Moll, king of North- 
umbria, slew at Edwins-cliflF, Oswin,^^e most powerful of 
his nobles, who, rebelling against his sovereign, in contempt 
of the law of nations, was justly punished according to the 
law of God. The year afterwards Lambert was ordained 
archbishop of York^; and Frith wald, bishop of Whitheme, 
who had been consecrated in the sixth year of the reign of 
Ceolwulf, ended his days. At ihe same time, Petwin was 
made bishop of Whitheme. Alchred succeeded to the king- 
dom of Northumbria on the demise of Moll, in the sixtih 
yefar of his reign, and held it eight years. In his second 
year, Egbert, archbishop of York, died, who had been arch- 
bishop 36 years, and Frithbert, bishop of Hexham, in 
the thirty-fourth year of his episcopate. Ethelbert suc- 
ceeded Egbert in the archdiocese, and Alcmund obtained 
Frithbert 's bishopric. In the fourth year of King Alchred, 
died Pepin, king of the Franks, and Stephen, pope of Kome, 
as well as Eadbert, the son of Eata, the most illustrious 
of the English nobles. 

In the year of our Lord 769, the fifteenth of the reign of 
Cynewulf, the operations of the right hand of the Most 
High began to change ; for the Roman Empire, the summit 
of power for so many years, became subject to Charlemagne, 
king of the Franks, after the thirtieth year of his reign, 
which commenced this year^, and has continued in the Ime 
of his posterity from his time to the present day. 

[a.d. 773.] In the twentieth year of the reign of Gyne- 
wulf, King Offa fought a battle with the Kentish men at 
Ottanford *, in which, after a dreadful slaughter on both 

* Henry of Huntingdon calls him " Jambeth," bishop of " Ceastre." It 
should have been Archbishop of Canterbury in the place of Bregowin, who, 
A.D. 759, succeeded Cuthbert — See Sax. Chron, Henry of Huntingdon 
confuses Lambert with Frithwald, bishop of Whitheme, the Scottish diocese, 
who also died this year, having been consecrated long before at '' Oeastre/' 
meaning York. 

^ Charlemagne succeeded Pepin in the kingdom of the Franks, A.D. 768, 
became king of Lombardy in 774, and was crowned emperor of Borne 
A.D. 800. 

3 Or Orford, in Kent One MS. reads " Oxenfdrd," Oxford. 



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A.D. 777.] OFFA*S BEIGN. 135 

sides, Oflfa gained the honour of victory. The same year 
the Northumbrians drove their King Alchred from Eoverwic 
[York] in the Paschal week, electing as their king, Ethelred, 
the son of Moll, who reigned four years. The same year 
red signs appeared in the heavens after sunset ^ and horrible 
snakes were seen in Sussex, to the wonder of all. Two 
years afterwards, the Old-Saxons, from whom the English 
nation is descended, were converted to Christianity: the 
same year, Petwin, bishop of Whitheme, died, in the twenty- 
fourth year of his episcopate. 

[a.d. 777.] In the twenty-fourth year of his reign. King 
Cynewulf fought against Offa round Benetune^ ; but by the 
fortune of war he was worsted and evacuated the town, so 
that Offa took the castle. The same year Ethelbert was 
consecrated at York, bishop of Whitheme. The following 
year Ethelbald and Herbert, officers*' of the King of North- 
umbria, rebelling against their master, slew Aldulf the son 
of Bosa, the commander-in-chief of the royal army, in a 
battle at Kings-cliff, and afterwards the officers above 
named slew Cynewulf and Eggan, also royal officers, in a 
great battle at Hela-thym. The King Ethelred, losing toge- 
Qier his officers and his hopes, fled from the face of tiie 
rebels ; upon which they raised Alfwold to the throne, and 
he reigned ten years. The year following*, the chief men 
and governors of Northumbria burnt a certain justiciary and 
chief officer' for unjust severity. The same year, archbishop 
Edbert^ died at York, and was succeeded by Eanbald. That 
year also Kinebold was made bishop of Lindisfame, and the 
Old-Saxons and Franks fought a battle, in which the Franks 
conquered. The year following, Alfwold king of Northiun- 
bria, sent to Kome for a pall, which he delivered to Eanbald 
the archbishop. Then, on the death of Alchmund, bishop 
of Hexham, he was succeeded by Tilberht. The same year 

' The Saxon Chronicle calls this appearance " a fiery crucifix." 

* ** Bensington/' Saxon Chronicle ; Benson, Oxfordshire. This battle was 
fought in the twenty-second year of Cynewulf's reign. 

' Henry of Huntingdon calls them " duces;" the Saxon Chronicle, "high- 
grieves," or sheriffs, i. e. shire-grieves, stewardjB of the shire. The date there 
u A.D. 778 

* Saxon Chronicle dates it in 780. 

• Saxon Chronicle, " ealdorman." 

• It should be " Ethelbert." 



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136 HENRY OF HUNTIKGDON. [BOOK IV. 

Charlemagne was at Borne ; and about this tune there was 
a synod at Acle^. 

[a.d. 784.] After Cynewulf had- been kmg 26 years ^ 
and had fought many battles against the Britons [Welsh], 
in which he was always victorious, subduing tliem in every 
quarter, he took it into his head to banish a young man ' [the 
Etheling] named Cyneard, Sigebert's brother. But he beset 
the king at Merton, where he had gone privately to visit a 
certain woman [a.d. 786]. On the first alarm, the king went 
to the door, where he manfully defended himself, till re- 
cognising the Etheling, he rushed forth and wounded him ; 
but the whole band of his followers siuroimded the king 
and slew him. Cries being raised, the king's thanes^ who 
were in the town ran to the spot, and, refusing the offers of 
lands and money made by the Etheling, fought with him 
till they were all killed except one, a British hostage, who 
was desperately wounded. The next morning the king's 
thanes of the neigbourhood beset the Etheling and his 
party in the house where the king was slain. Upon which 
he said to them, " Your kindred are with me, and I will 
bestow on you land and money, as much as you desire, if 

' Acley, in Durham. 

^ The Saxon Chronicle says " about one-and-thirty years." Henry of 
Huntingdon, as Petrie remarks, gives the date of Cynewulf *s accession cor- 
rectly, A.D. 755 ; but he considers that our historian has fixed a wrong date 
for his death, by confusing his calculation of the intermediate years. It 
appears, however, to have escaped the observation of the learned editor 
that Henry of Huntingdon himself, in the latter part of this same paragraph, 
expressly states that the reign of Cynewulf lasted 31 years, in agree- 
ment with the Saxon Chronicle. The reading, therefore, which gives the 
twenty-sixth year as the date of Cynewulf 's death, must either be a mere 
inadvertence, or an error of the transcribers of the MSS. ; unless, as the 
sense seems to allow, the latter era applies to thp termination of this king's 
wars with the Britons, or to his banishment of the Etheling ; the latter nou- 
rishing his revenge for five years, till he had an opportunity of fatally taking 
it. — See note, p. 731 of Petrie s Monumenta Historica. It may be ob- 
served, however, that the Saxon Chronicle places the death of Cynewulf in 
784, while 31 years firom 755 would make it 786. Perhaps he was not 
called to the throne for some time after Sigebert was expelled. 

^ Henry of Huntingdon calls him " Juvenis," unmeaningly. The Saxon 
Chronicle, *' The Etheling." Matthew of Westminster says, that Cynewulf 
suspected Cyneard of aspiring to the kingdom, or revenging his brother's 
death. 

* Henry of Huntingdon, " milites ; " Saxon Chronicle, " theigns." 



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A.D. 784.] BERTBIC SUCCEEDS IN WESSEX. 137 

you will not fight against me ; the same offer I made to 
your friends, but they rejected it and all perished." They 
replied that no money was dearer to them than their lord, 
and that they would avenge him and their kinsman. Then 
after a severe struggle, they burst in through the gate, 
and slew the Etheling and 84 persons, his followers, 
with him. One only survived, a young lad, but he was 
wounded^. Cynewulf, who was slain in Sie thirty-first year 
of his reign, was buried at Winchester, and the Etheling at 
Axminster. 

Bertric, who was of the race of Cerdic, often mentioned, 
succeeded Cynewulf in the kingdom of Wessex, over which 
he reigned sixteen years. In his second year Pope Adrian 
sent legates to Britain to renew the faith which Augustine 
had preached. They were honourably received by the 
kings and people, and established it on a sound foundation, 
the grace of God happily aiding them. They held a synod 
at Chalk-hythe, at which Lambert^ gave up some portion 
of his bishopric, and Higbert was elected by King Offa. 
The same year Egfert was consecrated king of a province 
of Kent^. The year following, being the year of grace 786, 
men's garments bore the appearance of being marked with 
the cross ; a prodigy which must appear wonderful in the 
sight and hearing of all ages. "Whether it prefigured the 
crusade to Jerusalem, which took place 309 years after- 
wards, in the time of William II., when the badge of the 
cross was assumed ; or whether it was sent for the warning 

' Henry of Huntingdon seldom loses an opportunity of amplifying the 
accounts he borrows from others ; but in this instance he has spoiled an in- 
teresting narrative, by omitting some of its most graphic details, given in 
the Saxon Chronicle. "Its minuteness and simplicity^" says Ingram, 
" proves that it was written at no great distance of time from the event. 
It is the first that occurs of any length in the older MSS. of the Saxon 
Chronicle.*' The reader will do well to refer to the original account^ p. 327 
of BohtCs Edition. 

' This relates to Ofh's temporary division of the province of Canterbury 
into two archbishoprics ; one of which he placed at Lichfield, in his own 
kingdom of Mercia, under Bishop Higbert.— -See William of Malmeshury, 

' I have adopted the indefinite instead of the definite article, *' a pro- 
vince,** as, though both the Saxon Chronicle and Florence of Worcester men- 
tion the coronation of Egfert in his father's lifetime, neither of them call 
him king of Kent. He may have had a district granted to him with the 
title of king, as was common in those times. 



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188 HENET OF HUMTINGDON. [bOOE IV. 

of the nations, that they might escape by refonnation the 
scourge of the Danes which speedily followed, it is not for 
me rashly to detennine. The secrets of the Lord I leave to 
the Lord. 

[A.D. 787.] In Hie fourth year of his reign, Bertric took to 
wife Eadburga, daughter of OflGa, king of Mercia, by which 
alliance the king*s power was strengthened, and his arro- 
gance increased. In those days the Danes landed in 
Britain, from tliree ships, to plunder the country. The 
king's officer^, descrying them, set upon them incautiously, 
making no doubt but he should carry them captives to the 
king's castle ; for he was ignorant who the people were who 
had landed, or for what purpose they had come. But he 
was instantly slain in the throng. He was the first Eng- 
lishman killed by the Danes, but after him many myriads 
were slaughtered by them ; and these were the first ships 
that the Danes brought here. The following year a synod 
was convened at Pincenhall*. 

[a.d. 789.] In the sixth year of Bertric's reign a synod 
was assembled at Acley. Likewise, Sigga infamously and 
treasonably murdered Alfwold, king of Northumbria, and a 
heavenly light was often seen in the place where the king, 
the servant of the Lord, was buried, which was at Hexham. 
Osred succeeded him, but the year afterwards he was be- 
trayed and driven out of the kingdom, and Moll, the son of 
Ethelred, was restored to the throne. But four years after- 
wards, Osred, returning with a force he had collected to 
expel Ethebed, by whom he had been dethroned, was sur- 
roimded, seized, and put to death. He was buried at 
Tynemouth ^. Truly it is said, " How blind to the future 
is the mind of man ! " For when the yoimg Osred ascended 
the throne with a light step and a merry heart, he little 
thought that in two years he should vacate the royal seat, 
and in four should lose his life ; so that in prosperity we 
should be always thoughtful, not knowing how near adver- 
sity is at hand. At that time Offia, king of Mercia, gave 
orders that St. Ethelbert * should be beheaded. Lambert 

» The " Teere,**'—Sax, Ckrcn. 

« Fingall, Spelman Concil., i. 304. • 

' " In the abbey at the mouth of the riyer Tine "^Flor. Wor, 

* He was king of the East- Angles. 



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A.D. 795.] KINa OFFA DIBS. 189 

did not survive ihis period, and Abbot JEthelard was elected 
archbishop ^ Also Eanbald, the archbishop of York, conse* 
crated Baldulf bishop of Whitheme^. 

[a.d. 793.] In the tenth year of Bertric's reign, fieiy 
dragons were seen flying iq the air, and this prodigy was 
followed by two calamities. The first was a severe famine ; 
the second was an irruption of the heathen nations from 
Norway and Denmark, who first cruelly butchered the 
people of Northumbria, and then, on the 14th of January, 
destroyed the churches of Christ, with the inhabitants, in 
the province of Lindisfeune. At the same time, Sigga, the 
thane, who had foully betrayed the holy king Alfwold, pe- 
rished as he deserved. 

In the eleventh year of Bertric's reign, the Northiunbrians 
slew their king Ethelred, who, the same year that King 
Osred was killed, elated with pride, had put away his wife, 
and married another ; unconscious that within two years he 
also WOUI4 be cut offi and soon end the joy of a short reign 
in the desolation of the grave. Eardulf succeeded him in 
the kingdom of Northumbria. He was anointed king, and 
installed in the royal seat at York, by Archbishop Eanbald, 
and bishops Ethelbert, Higbald, and Baldulf. Not long 
afterwards Archbishop Eanbald died at York, and was suc- 
ceeded by another of the same name. About this time 
Pope Adrian, as well as the powerful king Offa, depsuted 
this life [a.d. 796]. Egfert, the son of 0&, became king 
of Mercia, but he died 141 days afterwards, and was suc- 
ceeded by King Kenul£ The same year Eadbert, whose 
other name was Pren, obtained the kingdom of Kent. 
Then, also, the heathens ravaged Northumbria, and pillaged 
Egfert's monastery at " Donemuth." * But the bravest and 
most warlike of the EngUsh meeting them in battle, their 
leaders were slain, and tiiey retreated to their ships. Pur- 
suing their flight, some of their ships were vn-ecked by a 
storm, and many men were drowned ; but some were taken 
alive, and beheaded on the beach. Not long afterwards, 

' Of Canterbury. 

**'Beadiilf;" Flor, Wor,; the same as Badulph, Biddulph, &c.— 
Ingram. 

* " That is to say, Weannouth. Henry of Hontingdon is mistaken, af 
well as Simeon of Durham ; see him, ▲.!>. 794." — Peirie, 



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140 HENBY OF HUNTINGDON. [bOOK IV. 

Kenwulf, the king of Mercia, over-ran and ravaged the 
country of the Kentish men, and took prisoner and carried 
off with him their king Pren\ who was unable to resist his 
victorious arms, and was lurking in the winding glens and 



[a.d. 797.] In the fourteenth year of the reign of Bertric, 
the Komans cut out the tongue and put out the eyes of 
Pope Leo, and drove him from his see. But he, as writers 
report, was by the mercy of God again able to see and 
speak, and became again pope. Three years afterwards 
[a.d. 800], King Charles being made emperor, and conse- 
crated by Pope Leo, condemned to death those who had so 
disgracefully treated the pope, but at his intercession he 
chMiged the sentence of death for banishment. Three 
years afterwards, also, Bertric, king of Wessex, died. At 
this time there was a great battle at Hweallege^, in North- 
umbria, in which fell Alric, the son of Herbert, and many 
others. But I should be too prolix if I were to relate all 
the particulars of these wars, their nature and results ; for 
the EngUsh people were naturally rude and turbulent, and 
thus were incessantly torn by civil wars. 

Li the year of grace 800, Egbert, the eighth in order of 
the ten kings mentioned in the Second Book for their high 
and singular prerogative-*, began his reign over Wessex, 
which lasted 37 years, and 6 months. In his youth he 
had been driven into banishment by King Bertric, his 
predecessor, and Offa, king of Mercia, arid spent two years 
of exile in the coiu't of the king of the Franks*, where he 

' See Saxon Chronicle for tlie craelties Kenwulf is alleged to have in- 
flicted on his captive. But " this wanton act of barbarity," says Ingram, 
*' seems to have existed only in the depraved imagination of the Norman 
interpolator of the Saxon annals. Hoveden, and Wallingford, and others, 
have repeated the idle tale ; but I have not hitherto found it in any his- 
torian of authority."— i\ro;« to Sax. Chron. Our historian, Henry of Hun- 
tingdon, to his credit, rejects it. He also omits the account which follows, of 
a synod of small importance, and which Ingram considers to have been also 
an interpolation. 

^ Whalley, in Lancashire, then included in the great kmgdom of Nor- 
thumbha. 

* See before, pp. 51, 52 ; Egbert waa the eighth Bretwalda, or para- 
mount king of the Heptarchy. 

* Charlemagne, by whom Egbert was admitted to familiar intimacy, and 
intrusted with important employments. 



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A.D. 800.] EGBERT, KING OF WES8EX. 141 

was honourably distingiiished. After the death of Bertric 
he returned, and succeeded to the throne. That same day, 
Ethelmund, the "ealdorman,"^ rode over from Wic^, and 
coming to Kmemeresford [Kempsford] met Weoxtan, the 
ealdorman, with the men of Wiltshire. There was a great 
fight between them, in which both the chiefs were slain, but 
the Wiltshire men got the victory. Four years afterwards, 
^thelard, the archbishop of Canterbiuy, died, and Wulfred 
was consecrated in his place. Two years after that 
[a.d. 805], Cuthred, the king of Kent, died also ; and the 
next year, Eardulf, king of Northumbria, was driven a fiigi- 
tive from his kingdom. 

[a.d. 813.] Egbert, in the fourteenth year of his reign, 
ravaged the dominions of the Welsh kings from east to 
west, there being no one able to resist his power. The 
year afterwards, Charles, king of the Franks and emperor of 
Kome, departed this life ; and the following year, the vene- 
rable Pope Leo was a corpse. He was succeeded by Ste- 
phen', and Stephen by Paschal. Two years afterwards 
[a.d. 819] Kenulf, king of Mercia, died ; and Ceolwulf was 
raised to the throne, which he filled only three years, when 
he was driven from it by Bemwulf. 

[a.d. 823.] In the twenty-fourth year of Egbert's reign, 
he fought a battle against Bemwulf, king of Mercia, at 
Ellendune*, from whence it is said, ** Ellendune's stream 
was tinged with blood, and was choked with the slain, and 
became foul with the carnage." There, indeed, after a pro- 
digious slaughter on both sides, Egbert obtained a dearly- 
bought victory. From thence, pushing his advantage and 
following up his success, he detached his son Ethelwulf, 
who afterwards became king, with Ealcstan his bishop ^ 
and Wulfheard his ealdorman, and a large force into Kent, 

^ Saxon Chronicle ; Henry of Huntingdon Latinizes the title by the -word 
" consul." 

* The country of the Wiccii (see before, p. 80), of which Worcester was 
the capital. Eempsey, on the Severn, a short distance from that city, may 
hare been the scene of this combat. Ingram, mistranslating the Saxon 
Chronicle, says that Ethelmund rode over the Thames. Dr. Giles's trans* 
lation is correct. Wick-war, in Gloucestershire, retains the name it derived 
from its British founders. 

' Popes Leo III. and Stephen IV. 

* Wilton. » Of Sherborne. 



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143 HENRY OP HUNTINGDON. [BOOK IV. 

who drove Baldred over the Thames. Then the men (ji 
Kent, Surrey, Sussex, and Essex, suhmitted to King Eg- 
bert's government, having been unjustly deprived some 
years before of that of his kinsman iSren^. The same year 
the king and people of East-Anglia acknowledged King 
Egbert as their sovereign, after which, in the course of the 
year, the East-Anglians slew Bemwulf, the Mercian king. 
He was succeeded by Ludecen. The same year there was 
a great battle between the Britons * and the men of Devon- 
shire at Camelford, in which several thousands fell on both 
sides. The year following, Ludecen, king of Mercia, and 
five ealdormen with him, were slain. 

[a.d. 827.] Egbert, in the twenty-seventh year of his 
reign, expelled Withlaf, who had succeeded Ludecen, from 
his kingdom of Mercia, and annexed it to his own domi- 
nions. When he had thus established his power over all 
England south of the Humber, he led an army against the 
Northumbrians to Dore. But they humbly offering this 
powerful king submission and allegiance, parted in peace. 
The year following, King Egbert, from motives of com- 
miseration, yielded to Withlaf the kingdom of Mercia, to 
be held in subjection to himself. Next, King Egbert led 
an army into North Wales, and by the power of his arms 
reduced it to submission. The year following these events, 
on the death of Wulfred, archbishop of Canterbury, he was 
succeeded by Ceolnoth. 

[a.d. 832.] In the thirty-third year of King Egbert's reign 
the Danes again made their api)earance in England, 38 
years after they had been defeated at ** Thone-muth."^ The 
first place they ravaged was " Sepeige."* The next year 
they came over in 35 very lai'ge ships, and Egbert, with his 
army, fought against them at Charmouth, and there by 
chance of war the Danes gained the day, and two bishops 
fell, Herefrith and Wigfrith, with two ealdormen, Dudda 
and Osmod. The year following, the Danes landed in 
West-Wales, and the Welshmen joined them, and revolted 
against King Egbert. The king, however, with his usual 
good fortune, soundly beat both the Danes and the Welsh- 

1 See p. 140. Of Pren's relationship to Egbert there is no account 
» Of Cornwall. » See note, p. 188. 

* The Isle of Sheppey, in Kent. 



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A.D. 836.] DEATH OF BGBEBT. 143 

men at Hengest-down, triumphantly routing the bravest of 
their bands. The year afterwards [a.d. 836], Egbert, king 
[of Wessex] and paramount monarch of all Britain, yielded 
to fate and died. He left to his sons the inheritance of the 
kingdoms which were under his immediate government, 
Ethelwulf succeeding him in the kiijgdom of Essex ; while 
he gave to Athelstan, Kent, Sussex, and Essex 

We are now arrived at a period when England was united 
imder one paramount king, and the terrible scourge of the 
Danes was introduced. It is fitting, therefore, that this 
new state of affairs should be reserved for a separate Book. 
But as was done in the Second Book of this History, it 
may be well shortly to recapitulate the contents of the pre- 
sent Book. The succession of the several kingdoms shall, 
therefore, be arranged in regular order, that this summary 
may clearly elucidate any confusion caused by the names of 
such a number of kings being mixed up together. If by so 
doing I may be serviceable to the reader, I shall, through 
God's mercy, reap the desired fruit of my laboiu". 

A summary of the kings of Kent, of whom the present 
Book treats : — 

LoTHAiRE reigned xii. yeais, and met his death in battle 
with the East-Saxons. 

Edric, who was not of the royal race, reigned one year 
and a half 

NiTHRED and Wibbehard, neither of whom also were of 
the blood royal, reigned vi. years, and then were expelled. 

WiTHREn, in whom the royal line was restored, reigned 
peaceably xxxiv. years, and made an alliance with King 
Ina. 

Eadbert, son of Withred, with his two brothers, reigned 
xxii. years. 

Ethelbert's reign lasted xii. years. 

Egfert reigned, as far as I can gather from former 
writers, xxxiv. years. 

Eadbert Pren reigned iii. years, when he was carried away 
captive by Kenwulf, king of Mercia. 

CtiTHRED wore the diadem ix. years. 

Baldred reigned xviii. years, when he was driven from 
his kingdom by Egbert, king of Wessex. 

Egbert, king of Wessex, retained the kingdom he had 



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144 HENBY OF HUNTINGDON [BOOK IV. 

conquered as long as he lived, and at his death left it to 
his son Athelstan. The royal race of the kings of Kent 
then failed, and their right to the kingdom passed into 
other hands. ' 

A summaiy of the kings of Wessex, of whom this Book 
treats : — 

Ceadwal, in the second year of his reign, obtained 
possession of the Isle of Wight; twice he ravaged Kent, 
and, going to Borne, died there in his garments of baptism, 
having exchanged for them the ensigns of royalty. 

Ina reigned xxxvii. years. He conquered in battle 
Gerent, king of the Welsh, and subdued in his wars the 
East-Saxons. Piously resigning his crown, he went to 
Bome. 

Ethelhabd, a kinsman of King Ina, governed the king- 
dom he resigned to him, peaceably, for xiv. years. 

CuTHBED reigned xvi. years, and twice conquered the 
Britons by the laws of war, as also King Ethelbald. 

SiGEBEBT, a cruel king, reigned one year and a little 
more, when he was justly deposed, and afterwards slain. 

Cynewulp reigned xxiii. years, who was put to death by 
the king's [Sigebert's] brother. 

Bebtbic reigned xvi. years. In his time the barbarities 
of the Danes were first inflicted on Britain. 

Egbebt's reign lasted xxxvii. years. He overran Britain 
[Wales?] from east to west, and was victorious in his wars 
against Bemwulf, king of Mercia, and Baldred, king of 
Kent, together with Kmg Whitlaf and the Danes. 

A summary of the kings of Nobthumbbia mentioned in 
this Book : — 

Al^hh), brother of King Egfrid, learned in the Scrip- 
tures and warlike, reigned xx. years. 

OsBED, his son, reigned xi. years, and was killed in battle. 

Kenbed reigned ii. years, and falling sick shortly died. 

OsBic [II.] reigned xii. years till his death. 

Ceolwulf, brother of King Kenred, just named, after a 
reign of viii. years, became a monk. In whose time Bede, 
the venerable priest and Christian philosopher, made a 
blessed end. 

Egbebt, a kinsman of Ceolwulf, after a reign of xxi. years, 
made a feeble life illustrious by a glorious end. 



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SUMMARY OF KINGS. 145 

OswuLF, his son, reigned one year, and was traitorously 
murdered by his household. 

Mol-Ethelwold reigned vi. years, and was compelled to 
abdicate. 

Alrid reigned viii. years, and was driven out and de- 
posed by his people. 

Ethelred, the son of Mol, reigned iii. years, and fled 
from the face of his rebellious nobles. 

Alfwold reigned x. years, and was traitorously slain by 
Sigga, one of his officers. 

OsRED [II.], the nephew of the last-named king, after 
reigning one year, was driven from his kingdom by his peo- 
ple, and three years afterwards was killed. 

Ethelred, the son of Mol, was restored to the throne ; 
but, after reigning iv. years, was slain by his ever turbulent 
people. 

Ardulf, after a reign of xii. years, was expelled by his 
subjects. Afterwards, the Northumbrian people, actuated, 
as it appears, by an insane spirit of insubordination, were 
for some time without any king, and submitted by treaty to 
King Egbert. 

A smnmary of the kings of Mercia mentioned in this 
Book :— 

Ethelred, son of Penda, after a reign of xii. years, 
nobly submitted to the monastic rule. 

Kenred, his kinsman, reigned v. years, and then, going 
to Eome, triumphantly joined a society of monks. 

Ceoldred, son of King Ethelred, reigned viii. years, 
and fought stoutly against King Ina. 

Ethelbald the froud reigned xii. years. He ravaged 
Northumbria, and subdued the people of Wales, and be- 
came paramount over all the kings of England ; but at last 
he was conquered by King Cuthred, and was afterwards 
slain. 

Bernred held the kingdom one year, but Offa the 
powerful expelled him. 

Offa reigned xxxix. years. In his wars he worsted 
Cynewulf, king of Wessex, and the Kentish men, and 
the Northumbrians. 

Egfert, the son of Offa, scarcely sm-vived him one year. 



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146 HENBY OF HUNTINGDON. [bOOZ IV. 

Kenulf reigned xxvi. years in peace, and died the com- 
mon death of mortals. 

Ceolwulf held the kingdom iii. years, but it was then 
wrested from him by Bemulf the ferocious. 

Bernulf reigned one year, and, being overcome by King 
Egbert, disappeared. 

LuDicEN was slain in the first year of his reign, with his 
five principal officers. 

Withlaf, having been conquered in the war with King 
Egbert, was restored to his kingdom as a tributary. 

As to the kingdom of East-Anglia, it had already been, 
by various means, annexed to the other kingdoms ^. 

' These tables, which embrace a period of little more than a century and 
a half, extending from A.D. 681 to 836, contain a melancholy record of the 
unsettled state of the times. Wars, revolutions, treason, and murder so did 
their work, that, of the 45 kings of the Hexarchy enumerated in these lists, 
fifteen only, and three of these after very short reigns, died peaceably, 
and in possession of their kingdoms. Of the remainder, eleven were driven 
from the throne ; eleven died violent deaths, some in battle, but most of 
them murdered by their rebellious subjects ; and eight became monks, as 
much, Henry of Huntingdon admits, to escape a violent death as from mo- 
tives of piety. The kingdom of Northumbria presents the worst spectacle. 
There, of thirteen kings during the period above mentioned, three only died 
possessed of the throne, one of them falling sick and dying in the second 
year of his reign. It is remarkable also that all the three died in less than 
half a century of the period referred to. Afterwards, for a century and a 
quarter, not one of the kings who successively filled the throne of Northum- 
bria died in it. Four were expelled by their subjects; and of four who were 
killed, one only fell in battle ; the rest were traitorously murdered, and two 
became monks. 



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THE DANISH INVASION. 147 



BOOK V. 

THE PREFACE. 

In the beginning of this History I remarked that Britain had 
been afflicted with &ve scourges ; the fourth of which — that in- 
flicted by the Danes — I propose to treat of in the present Book : 
indeed this infliction was more extensive as well as vastly more 
severe than the others. For the Romans subjugated Britain in a 
short time, and governed it magnificently by right of conquest.' 
The Picts and Scots made frequent irruptions from the northern 
districts of Britain, but their attacks were confined to that 
quarter, and they were never very destructive ; and, being re- 
pelled, their invasions quickly ceased. The Saxons, as their strength 
mcreased, gradually took possession of the country by force of 
arms ; they then settled on the lands they conquered, established 
themselves in their possessions, and were governed by fixed laws. 
The Normans, again, suddenly and rapidly subjugating the island, 
granted to the conquered people life and liberty, with their just 
rights, according to the ancient laws of the kingdom. Of them I 
shall have to speak hereafter. 

The Danes, however, overran the country by desultory inroads ; 
their object being not to settle but to plunder it, to destroy rather 
than to conquer. If they were sometimes defeated, victory was of 
no avail, inasmuch as a descent was made in some other quarter 
by a larger fleet and a mor^ numerous force. It was wonderful 
how, when the English kings were hastening to encounter them 
in the eastern districts, before they could fall in with the enemy's 
bands, a hurried messenger would arrive and say, " Sir king, 
whither are you marching ? The heathens have disembarked 
from a countless fleet on the southern coast, and are ravaging the 
towns and villages, carrying fire and slaughter into every quarter." 
The same day another messenger would come running, and say, 
" Sir king, whither are you retreating ? A formidable army has 
landed in the west of England, and if you do not quickly turn 
your face toward them, they will think you are fleeing, and follow 
in your rear with fire and sword." Again, the same day, or on the 
morrow, another messenger would arrive, saying, " What place, 
noble chiefs, are you making for ? The Danes have made a 
descent in the north ; already they have burnt your mansions. 



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148 HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK V. 

even now they are sweeping away your goods, they are tossing 
your young children raised on the points of their spears, your 
wives, some they have forcibly dishonoured, others they have car- 
ried off with them." Bewildered by such various tidings of bitter 
woe, both kings and people lost their vigour both of mind and 
body, and were utterly prostrated ; so that even when they de- 
feated the enemy, victory was not attended with its wonted tri- 
umphs, and supplied no confidence of safety for the future. 

The reason why the anger of God was inflamed against them 
with such fury is this. In the early days of the English church 
reliffion flourished with so much lustre, that kings and queens^ 
nobles and bishops, as I have before related, resigned their dig- 
nities, and entered into the monastic life \ But in process of time 
all piety became extinct, so that no other nation equalled them for 
impiety and licentiousness ; as especially appears m the history of 
the Korthumbrian kings. This unpiety was not only manifest in 
the royal annals, but extended to every rank and order of men. 
Nothing was held disgraceful except devotion, and innocence was 
the surest road to destruction. The Almightjr, therefore, let loose 
upon them the most barbarous of nations, like swarms of wasps, 
and they spared neither age nor sex ^ ; viz. the Dajies and Goths, 
Norwegians and Swedes, Vandals and Frisians. These desolated 
this country for 230 years, from the beginning of the reign of 
King Ethelwulf, until the time of the arrival of the Normans 
under the command of King William. France also, from its con- 
tiguity to England, was often invaded by these instruments of the 
divine vengeance, as it richly deserved. With these explanations 
I will now resume the course of my history. 



[a.d. 837.] "While Ethelwulf himself, in the first year of 
his reign, opposed the enemy just spoken of in one part of 

' It did not occur to Henry of Huntingdon that the practice he extols, of 
abandoning the duties of their station for the cloister, common among all 
ranks at this time, was at least one of the causes of that national enervation 
-nrhlch laid the kingdom open to the successful irruptions of the Northmen. 

^ Henry of Huntingdon, in common with most of the early annalists, 
overstates both the atrocities of the Northmen, as compared with other in- 
vaders, and the duration of their ravages. His account in this Preface of 
the progress of the Saxons in subduing and settling the country, would as 
fitly apply to that of the Danes and Norwegians. Long before the Norman 
conquest the first immigrants had settled down into peaceable and industrious 
habits ; and though we must receive cum grano salis some recent attempts 
to place the civilization of the Northmen, in the ninth and tenth centuries, on 
a high footing, there is sufficient evidence that the unmitigated barbarism 
attributed to them by such writers as Huntingdon, must be a very exag- 
gerated representation. 



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A.D. 837.] DANES LAND IN SOUTH AND EAST. 149 

his kingdom, as the heathen hordes were overrunning 
every quarter he detached the ealdorman Wulf herd, with 
part of his army, to attack the Danes who had landed 
near Hamton [Southampton], out of 33 ships ; whom he 
triumphantly defeated with great slaughter. King Ethel- 
vsrulf also dispatched the ealdorman Ethelhelm, with the 
Wessex forces, against another band of the enemy, at 
Port^ ; but after a long fight Ethelhelm was slain, and the 
Danes gained the day. The year following, Herebert, the 
ealdorman, fought with them at " Mercsware ;"^ but the 
Danes defeated and routed his troops, and he was slain. 
The same year the heathen army reduced all the eastern 
coast of England, in Lindsey, East-Anglia, and Kent, put- 
ting vast numbers of the inhabitants to the sword. A year 
later, the army of the Danes, penetrating further into the 
country, made great slaughter about Canterbiuy, Kochester, 
and London. 

[a.d. 840.] In the fifth year of his reign, Ethelwulf having 
divided his army, fought with one division against the 
men who disembarked from 35 ships at Charmouth, where 
he was defeated by the Danes, for, tliough their fleet was 
small, the largest ships were crowded vdth men. The 
fifth year afterwards, Elcstan, the venerable bishop [of 
Sherbum], and Emwulf, the ealdorman, with the Somer- 
setshire men, and Osric, the ealdorman, vdth the men of 
Dorset, fought with the Danes at the mouth of the Parret, 
and, by God's help, gained a glorious victory, having slain 
great numbers of the enemy [a.d. 851]. In the sixteenth 
year of his reign, Ethelwulf, with his son Ethelbald, collect- 
ing his whole force, fought a battle with a very great army, 
which, landing from 250 ships at the mouth of the Thames, 
had taken by storm two noble and famous cities, London 
and Canterbuiy, and routed Berthwulf, king of Mercia, 
with his army, a defeat which he never recovered. He was 
succeeded by Bru-hred in the kingdom of Mercia. The 

^ Portland Island. The Saxon Chronicle says that Ethelhelm headed the 
men of Dorset 

* Matthew of Westminster mistakes the name of a people for the name 
of a place. Both Ingram and Griles translate it " among the marshlanders.'* 
Florence of Worcester interprets the passage "quamplures Merscuario- 
rum," some of the Mercians 



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150 HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK V. 

Danes, entering Surrey, encountered the royal troops at 
Ockley, where ensued between the two numerous armies 
one of the greatest battles ever fought in England. The 
warriors fell on both sides like com in harvest, and the 
bodies and limbs of the slain were swept along by rivers of 
blood. It would be tedious and wearisome to describe 
particulars. God vouchsafed the victoiy to the faithful, 
and caused the heathen to suffer a disgraceful defeat ; so 
King Ethelwulf signally triumphed. The same year, Athel- 
stan, king of Kent, and Ealhere, the ealdorman, had a 
naval action with the Danes, at Sandwich, in which they 
took nine ships, and put the rest of the fleet to flight, with 
great slaughter of the enemy. An ealdorman named Ceorl, 
also, with the men of Devonshh'e, fought against the 
healiiens at Wieganbeorge\ slaying many and obtaining 
the victory. This year, therefore, was fortunate to the 
English nation ; but it was the first that the heathen army 
remained in the country over winter ^. 

[a.d. 853.] In the eighteenth year of his reign, Ethelwulf 
gave powerM assistance to King Burhred in reducing the 
North- Welsh to subjection : he also gave him his daughter 
in marriage. The same year. King Ethelwulf sent his son 
Alfred to Rome, to Leo the pope, and Leo afterwards con- 
secrated him king, and adopted him for his son. This 
year, the ealdormen Ealhere, with the men of Kent, and 
Huda, with the men of Surrey, fought against the army of 
the pagans in the Isle of Thanet, and great numbers were 
slain and drowned on both sides, and both the ealdormen 
were killed. 

In the nineteenth year of his reign, Ethelvmlf gave the 
tenth of all his land^ to ecclesiastical uses, for the love of 
God and for his own salvation. Afterwards he went to 
Rome in great state, and abode there a year. On his 
return, he obtained in marriage the daughter of Charles 
the Bald, king of France, and brought her with him to his 

1 Wembury, near Plymouth. 

^ One MS. of Henry of Huntingdon's adds " in Thanet,** which agrees 
with the Saxon Chronicle. 

^ Not only the tenth of the royal domains, but the tenh of all the lands 
in the kingdom. See the Saxon Chronicle, and Matthew of Westminster 
who transcribes the original charter. 



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A.D. 858.] DEATH OP ETHELWULF. 151 

own country. Two years after his marriage he departed 
this life, and was buried at Winchester [a.d. 858]. At first 
he had been bishop of Winchester^ ; but on the death of 
his father Egbert, from the necessity of the case, he was 
made king. He had by his [first] wife four sons, all of 
whom, in turn, succeeded him in the kingdom. About this 
time the heathens wintered in Sheppey. 

This illustrious king Ethelwulf left his hereditary king- 
dom of Wessex to his son Ethelbald ; and to his other son, 
Ethelbert, he left the kingdoms of Kent, Essex, and Sussex. 
Both brothers were young men of princely virtues, and 
ruled their kingdoms well as long as they lived. Ethelbald, 
the king of Wessex, held his peaceably five years, and then 
prematurely died of disease. All liigland lamented the 
royal youth and mourned over him deeply, and they buried 
him at Sherborne [a.d. 860], and the English people felt 
what they had lost in him. 

Ethelbert, the brother of the last-named king, succeeded 
him in the kingdom of Wessex, having been before king of 
Kent. In his time a large fleet came over, and the crews 
stormed Winchester. Thus it was that 

" The ancient city, long the seat of power. 
To ruin feU.** » 

Then Osric, the ealdorman, with the men of Hampshire, 
and Ethelwulf, the ealdorman, with the men of Berkshire, 
fought against this army, and, routing it with great slaughter, 
Remained the victors. 

[a.d. 865.] In the fifth year of Ethelbert*s reign, the 
army of the heathens came into Thanet, and the Kentish 
men came to terms with them, promising money; but, 
pending the treaty, the enemy stole away by night, and 
ravs^ed all the eastern part of Kent. The same year, 
Ethelbert, after a reign of ^yb years in Wessex and ten 
years in Kent, departed this life [a.d. 866] ; upon which, 
Ethelred, his brother, ascended ^e throne. The same 
year a great army of ps^ans landed in England, under the 

' Henry of Huntingdon is the only authority for Ethelwulf's having re- 
ceiyed ordination as a bishop. Some of the old writers describe him as a 
sub-deacon. See Goscelin's Life of Swithun. Boger of Wendover agrees 
with HnntingdoiL — Pelrie, * " Urbs antiqoa ruat," Virg. ^n. ii. 368. 



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15a HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK V. 

command of their chiefs, Hinguar and Ubba, most valiant 
but cruel men ; Hinguar being of great ability, and Ubba 
of extraordinary courage. They spent the winter in East- 
Anglia, entering into a treaty and receiving horses from the 
inhabitants, who, being awed into tranquillity by the enemy's 
force, were spared for the present. 

In the second year of Ethelred's reign, this artny, under 
the command of Hinguar and Ubba, marched into North- 
lunbria as far as York. There was great dissension among 
the people of that province, they having, with their usual 
fickleness, ejected their king Osbert, and set up one named 
Ella, who was not of the royal blood. Being at length 
reconciled, they assembled an army and came to York, 
where the pagan army lay. Having effected a breach in 
the wall, they entered the town, fighting boldly, and both 
kings, Osbert and EUa, were slain, with a vast number of 
the Northumbrians within and without the city : the sur- 
vivors made a treaty with the heathens. This year died 
Bishop Elcstan, and he was buried at Sherborne, where he 
had been bishop 50 years. 

[a.d. 868.] l^ng Ethelred, in the third year of his reign, 
went to Nottingham, with his brother Alfred, to the help of 
Burhred, king of Mercia ; for the army of the Danes had 
marched to Nottingham, and there wintered. Hinguar, 
seeing that the whole force of the English was assembled, 
and fliat his army was besieged and inferior in strength, 
had recourse to smooth words, and with dangerous cun- 
ning obtained terms of peace from the EngUsh. He then 
retired to York, and with great cruelty maintained posses- 
sion one year. St. Edmund was taken to heaven in the 
year of our Lord 870, the fifth of the reign of Ethelred. 
For the army, mentioned before, imder the command of 
their King Hinguar, marching through Mercia to Thetford, 
established itself there for t£e winter, causing entire ruin 
to the wretched inhabitants. Whereupon Edmund, the 
king, preferring rather to suffer death than to witness the 
sufferings of his people, was seized by the infidels, and his 
sacred body was fastened to a stake, and transfixed by their 
arrows in every part. But God, in his mercy, honoured the 
spot with numerous miracles. 

[a.d. 871.] In the sixth yesir of King Ethelred there came 



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A.D. 871.] NINE BATTLES THIS TEAB. 163 

a new and immense armji which, rushing like a torrent, 
and carrying all before it, advanced as far as Reading. 
Their nmnbers were so great that as they could not march 
in one body they advanced in' troops by separate routes. 
They were led by two kings, Boegsec and Healfdene. Three 
days after this, Ethelwulf, the ealdorman, attacked two of 
the enemy's chiefs^ at Englefield, and slew one of them 
who was called Sidroc. Foin* days afterwards, King Ethel- 
red, with his brother Alfred and a great host, arrived at 
Reading, and gave battle to the army of the Danes. Great 
numbers fell on both sides, but the Danes gained the vic- 
tory. Foin* days afterwards, King Ethelred and his brother 
Alfred fought the whole army assembled at Ashdown. It 
was formed in two divisions : one, headed by the pagan 
kings Boegsec and Healfdene, was encountered by King 
Ethelred, and Boegsec was slain ; the other division was 
led by the pagan earls, and Alfred, the king's brother, 
attacked them, and killed th\3 five earls, Sidroc the elder, 
and Sidroc the younger, and Osbem, and Frena, and 
Harold. The army was routed and'many thousands were 
slain, the battle lasting till night-fall. Fourteen days after- 
wards. King Ethelred and Alfred his brother again engaged 
the enemy at Basing, but there the Danes obtained the 
victory. Again, in the course of two months, King Ethel- 
red and his brother Alfred fought another battle with this 
same army at Merton, in which numbers fell on both sides ; 
and the Danes, though they gave way for a time, in the 
end remained victors. In this battle were slain Heahmund, 
bishop [of Sherborne], and many other great men of the 
English. After this battle the great army came in the 
summer to Reading. This year King Ethelred died after 
Easter ; he had reigned five years, and was buried at Wim- 
bum Minster. Then Alfred, his brother, the son of Ethel- 
wulf, began his reign over Wessex ; and one month after- 
wards, he fought with a small band against the imited army 
at Wilton, and put them to flight for a time, but afterwards 
the Danes gained the day. This year, therefore, there were 
nine pitched battles with the Danish army in that part of 

' Henry of Huntingdon calls them "consuls," the Saxon Chronicle 
"earls," the Norwegian "jarls." 



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154 HENKY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK V. 

the kingdom lying south of the Thames, besides the sudden 
inroads which Alfred, the king's brother, and the king's 
officers, frequently made into the enemy's quarters. In ihia 
year were slain one king and nine earls ; and the chief men 
of Wessex made a truce with the army of the pagans. 

[a.d. 872.] In the first year of King Alfred, the army^ 
came from Beading to London, and tihere wintered; and 
the Mercians made peace with the army. The second year, 
King Healfdene led the same army into lindsey, and they 
wintered at Torksey; and the third year they had their 
winter quarters at Repton. There were confederated with 
him three other kings, Guthrun, and Oskytel, and Anwynd, 
so that they became irresistible, and drove beyond the sea 
King Burbred, who had reigned 22 years over Mercia. He 
went to Bome, and, there dying, he was buried in the 
church of St. Mary, at the EngUsh school. But the Danes 
transferred the kingdom of Mercia to one Ceolwulf, a weak 
king, who was to do their bidding. For he gave them hos- 
tages, and swore that he would yield up the kingdom to 
them whenever they desired, and that he would be always 
ready to aid them in his own person and with all the force 
he could muster. 

[a.d. 875.] In the fourth year of King Alfired the army 
broke up from Bepton in two divisions, with one of which 
King Healfdene marched into Northumbria, and fixed his 
winter quarters on the Tyne; and he took possession of 
the land, and divided it among his followers, and they cul- 
tivated it two years ^. He also made predatory excursions 
against the Picts^. But the larger division of the army 

' By " the anny," Henry of Huntingdon, following the Saxon Ohronkle, 
means thronghout this narrative the main My of the invading Northmen, 
who had now permanently quartered themselyes in England ; wintering there, 
and not retiring, like the first piratical bftnds, at the close of summer. 

* The Saxon Chronicle says, an. 875, when " the army " took up their 
winter quarters on the Tyne, ** the array suhdued the land ; " and, an. 87^, 
''that year Healfdene apportioned the lands of Northambria, and thej 
thenceforth," — not merely creeping it for two years, as Henry of Hunting' 
don seems to intimate, — ** continued ploughing and tilling it." This early 
colonization of the north of England is an important &ct in reference to 
recent disquisitions on the progress of the Northmen. 

^ The Saxon Chronicle adds, "and the Strathclyde Britons ;" the Danes 
thus turning their arms against the common enemies of the English and of 
themselves as now settlers in the country. 



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A.D. 875-878.] THE DANES PARAMOUNT. 155 

followed the before-mentioned three kings to Cambridge, 
where they sat down one year. This year King Alfred fought 
a naval battle against seven ships, one of which he took 
and the rest he put to flight. The year following, the army 
of the three kings came^ to Wareham, in Wessex ; and 
King Alfred made a truce with them, taking some of their 
chief men as hostages. They also swore to him, as they 
had never before done to any one^, that they would shortly 
depart the kingdom. Notwithstanding which, those of the 
army who had horses stole away a few nights afterwards, 
and made for Exeter. This year [876], Rollo, with his fol 
lowers, landed in Normandy. The year following, the 
[remainder of the] perjured army marched from Wareham 
to Exeter ; and the fleet, sailing round, was overtaken by a 
storm, so that 120 ships were wrecked at Swanage. But 
King Alfred had pursued, with a large force, the part of 
the army which was mounted ; but he could not come up with 
them before they reached Exeter; and there they gave him 
hostages, as many as he would, and swore to keep the 
peace, which they did faithfully. Afterwards the army 
marched into Mercia, and took possession of* some psirt of 
that kingdom ; part they gave up to Ceolwulf. 

[a.d. 878.] In the seventh year of King Alfred, the 
Danes were in possession of the whole kingdom, from the 
north bank of the Thames ; King Healfdene reigned in 
Northumbria, and his brother in East-Anglia, while the 
three other kings before named, with Ceolwulf, the king 
they had appointed, reigned in Mercia, the country about 
London and Essex ; so fliat there only remained to King 
Alfred the country south of the Thames, and even that was 
grudged him by the Danes. The three kings therefore 
advanced to Chippenham in Wessex, with fresh swarms of 
men arrived from Denmark ; they spread over the country 
like locusts, and there being no one able to resist them, 
they took possession of it for themselves. Some of the 
people fled beyond sea, some to King Alfred, who concealed 
himself in the woods with a small band of followers ; others 
submitted to the enemy. But when King Alfred neither 

* Saxon Chronicle, " gtole into," took by surprise. 

' Saxon Chronicle, " upon the holy ring or bracelet." See Petrie's note. 

' Saxon Chronicle, "apportioned." 



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166 HENBT OP HUNTINGDOlf. [BOOK V. 

possessed any territory, nor had any hope of possessing it, 
the Lord had regard for the remnant of his people. 
For the brother of King Healfdene, coming with 23 ships 
to Devonshire in Wessex, King Alfred's people slew him, 
with 840 men of his army, and their standard, called the 
Kaven, was there taken. Upon which King Alfred, who 
had constructed a fortified post at Athelney, encouraged by 
this success, sallied forth from thence with the men of 
Somersetshire who were nearest to it, and had frequent en- 
counters with the army. Then in the seventh week after 
Easter, he rode to Brixton, on the eastern side of Selwood, 
and there came to meet him all the Somersetshire and 
Wiltshire men, and the residue * of the Hampshire men, 
and they were glad at his coming. The day following he 
went to Hey ^, and in another day to Heddington ; and there 
he gave battle to the army and routed and pursued it to 
their place of strength, before which he sat down fourteen 
days. Then the army delivered hostages to the king, and 
promised on oath to quit the kingdom. Their king also 
agreed to be baptized ; and it was done. For Guthrun, the 
chief of their kings, came to Alfred for baptism ; and Alfred 
became his god-father, and, having entertained him for 
twelve days, dismissed him with many gifts. 

[a.d. 879.] In the eighth year of Alfred, this same army 
went from Chippenham to Cirencester, and there wintered 
peaceably. The same year the foreigners, that is the 
Vikings ^ assembled a new force and sat down at Fulham 
on the Thames. There was an eclipse of the sun this 
year [a.d. 880]. The year following, the before-named 
army of King Guthrun retired from Cirencester and 
marched into East-Anglia, where they settled on the land 
and apportioned it among them *. The same year the army 

* Saxon Ohronicle, ''that portion of the men of Hampshire which was 
on this side of the sea.'' 

^ Iley-mead, near Melksham, Wilts. 

^ The word " Vicinga " is used in the Saxon Chronicle, but all the trans- 
lators render it ''pirates." Spelman derives the appellation from vie, a hay or 
harbour, as well as a camp or fortress, which the vic-ing either dwelt in, or 
plundered. 

* East-Anglia, comprising Norfolk and Suffolk, was now settled perma- 
nently, as Northumbria had been before. Alfred's treaty with Guthrun, 
defining the boundaries, is extant. — See Wilki'M, Leges Anglo-Sax. 



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A.D. 883.] Alfred's successes. 157 

which had been posted at Fulham crossed over the sea, and 
was stationed one year at Ghent. The year afterwards they 
fought with the Franks, and overcame fliem ; and the third 
year they went along the banks of the Maese into France ; 
at which time King Alfred took four Danish ships in a naval 
battle, destroying the crews. In the fourth year [a.d. 883], 
the army went up the Scheldt to Conde, and Ihere esta- 
blished itself for a year. This year Pope Marinus sent to 
King Alfred a piece of the wood of the Holy Cross ; and 
Alfred sent alms to Rome, and also to the shrine of St. 
Thomas in India, in performance of a vow which he had 
made when the enemy's army wintered at London. 

[a.d. 885.] In the foiuteenth year of King Alfred, part of 
the army which was in France came over to Rochester, and 
besieging the city began to construct another fortress ; but 
on Alfred's approach they fled to their ships, and crossed 
over the sea. King Alfred also sent a naval expedition 
from Kent to East-Anglia, and when the fleet was off the 
mouth of the river Stour, it encountered sixteen ships of 
the Vikings, and obtained the victory in the engagement. 
On their return with the booty in triumph, they were met 
by a large fleet of the Vikings, and a battle ensued, in 
which they were worsted. The same year Charles ^ king 
of the Franks, was killed by a wild boar. He was a son of 
Lewis, the son of Charles &e Bald, whose daughter Judith 
was married to King Ethelwulf. Then also Pope Marinus 
fell asleep. The year following the army of the Danes 
ascended the Seine to the b/idge at Paris, and there 
wintered ^ King Alfred besieged London, the greatest 
part of the Danish force having joined their army in France ; 
and the Danes being departed, all the Enghsh submitted 
to him and acknowledged him king. And he committed 
the city to the keeping of Ethelred the ealdorman'. The 

Meaning Oarloman, second son of Lewis le B^gue. He died in 884. 

^ " This celebrated siege of Paris is* minutely described by Abbo, abbot of 
Fleury, in two books of Latin hexameters, which, howeyer barbarous, con- 
tain some curious and authentic matter relating to the history of that pe- 
riod.*' — Ingram. The bridge, the most ancient of Paris, called " le grand 
pont,** or " pont du change,** was built by Charles the Bald, to prevent the 
Danes from making themselves masters of Paris so easily as they had often 
done before. 

' Eoger of Wendover calls this Ethelred earl of Mercia, and says that he 
waa of the royal stock of that nation, and had married Blfleda, the king's 



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168 HENBY OP HUNTINGDON. [BOOK V. 

year following these, the army hreakmg up from the hridge 
at Paris, went along the Seine as far as the Mame, and 
along the Mame as far as Chezy^, and sat down there and 
on the Yonne two years. About this time, by the act of 
Amulf, five kings were created in France^. 

[a.d. 890.] In the nineteenth year of King Alfred, Guth- 
run, the Danish king, who was god-son of King Alfred, and 
governed East-Anglia, departed this life. The same year 
file army went from the Seine to St. Loo, which is between 
Brittany and France; and the Bretons fighting with them 
and driving them into a river, many were drowned. Now 
Plegmimd was chosen of God and all the people to be 
archbishop [of Canterbuiy]. The year following the army 
went eastward, and King Amulf, with the Franks, Saxons, 
and Bavarians, fought against it and routed it. Afterwards 
this great army returned into England, with all that be- 
longed to it, disembarking from 250 ships at Limne-mouth, 
a port in the eastern part of Kent, near the great wood of 
Andred^ which is 120 miles long and 30 miles broad. On 
landing, they threw up a fortified camp at "Awldre."* 
Meanwhile Hasteng came with 80 ships into Thames 
harbour, and constmcted a camp at Milton. Afterwards, 
however, he swore to King Alfred that he would never 
injure him in any matter. The king, therefore, conferred 
upon him, and his wife and sons, many gifts ; one of them 
the king had held in baptism, and his great general Edred 
the other. Hasteng, however, always faithless, constructed a 

(Alfred's) daughter. According to him, Alfred now rebuilt London, and re- 
paired the walls. 

* A corruption of caz-rei, casa regia, softened by the French into Chezy. 
^ z, e, the empire of Charlemagne was dismembered, and thus divided. 

' See a previous note, p. 44. 

* Appledore, near Romney, in Kent. These fortified places were merely 
earth-works surrounding the camps. Such works are thus described :— - 
*' The Northmen secured their station by a fortification constructed of turfs 
in their usual manner." — Ann. Fvldens, ConL " The Northmen fortified 
themselves, according to their custom, with stakes and mounds of earth."— 
.47171. Mettens, Botiquet, viii. 53, 73. Henry of Huntingdon, in speaking of 
these " works," generally says, " construit castrum," which might be lite- 
rally, but improperly, translated huUt a castle. All the translators of the 
Saxon Chronicle use the phrase " constructed a fortress," or " wrought a for- 
tress." I have preferred, in interpreting Henry of Huntingdon, to call these 
field-works fortified camps, or simply " camps." Every one knows what a 
Danish camp, or a Eoman camp, means. 



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AJ>. 895.] DANES DRIVEN FKOM THE LEA. 169 

csanp at Bamfleet ; and when he issued forth to plunder the 
king s country, the king stormed the castle and took there 
his wife, with his sons, and his ships. But he restored his 
wife and sons to Hasteng, because he was their godfather. 
And now a messenger came to King Alfred saying, " A 
hundred ships have come from Northumbria and East- 
Anglia, and are besieging Exeter." While, therefore, the 
king was marching there, the army which was at Appledore 
invaiied Essex and constructed a camp at Shoebiuy. Push- 
ing on from thence they reached Buttington near the 
Severn, and there they threw up a fortification ; but being 
driven from it they took refiige in their camp in Essex. 
Meanwhile the army which had laid siege to Exeter, when 
the king's approach was known, betook tiiemselves to their 
ships and carried on piracy by sea. A fourth army came 
the same year from Northumbria to Chester, but they were 
there besieged, and sufiered so much from himger that they 
were compelled to eat most of their horses. 

[a.d. 895.] In the twenty-third year of King Alfred, the 
Danes who were in Chester made a circuit by North 
Wales and Northumbria to Mersey, an island of Essex ; and, 
afterwards, in winter, they towed their ships up the Thames 
into the river Lea. But the army which had besieged 
Exeter was overtaken plundering near Chichester, where 
large numbers perished, and they lost some of their ships. 
The year following the army which was on the river Lea 
made a sort of entrenchment near that river, 20 miles 
from London. The Londoners issued forth to attack it, 
and fighting with the Danes, slew four of their leaders. 
Almighty God giving them the victory in time of need. 
The Danes retreated to their camp, whereupon the king 
caused the waters of the Lea to be diverted into three 
channels, that they might not be able to bring out their 
ships ; which the Danes perceiving, they abandoned their 
ships and went across the country to Bridgenorth, near the 
Severn, where they fortified their camp and established their 
winter quarters ; having committed their wives to the care 
of the East-Angles. The king pursued them with his 
army, while the Londoners brought some of the deserted 
ships to London, and bmut the rest. In the three years, 
therefore, which I have mentioned, that is, from the time 



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100 HENBT OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK V. 

the Danes entered the port of Limne-mouth, they inflicted 
great losses on tlie English, but they suffered far greater 
Siemselves. In the fourth year "the army" was divided, 
one part going into Northumbria, another into East-Anglia, 
and a part of it crossed the channel and entered the Seine ; 
afterwards, however, some ships of the Danes came on the 
coast of Wessex, and by frequent descents for the sake of 
plunder, and continual skirmishes, caused no small loss to 
the provincials of Wessex. Of these nmnerous conflicts I 
will relate one, because it was out of the common course. 
King Alfred caused long ships, of 40 oars or more, to be 
fitted out against this Danish fleet. There were six of the* 
Danish vessels, in a harbour of the Devonshire coast, which 
nine of the royal ships attempted to surprise. However, 
the Danes, becoming aware of it, launched three of their 
vessels to engage the enemy, the others being aground, 
high on the beach, and the tide being out. Six, therefore, of 
the EngUsh ships engaged v^ith these three Danish, and the 
other three EngUsh ships made for the three Danish vessels 
which lay on the shore.,^ Though the odds were six to 
three, the Danes fought bravely and desperately, maintain- 
ing the unequal conflict a long time. But numbers pra- 
vaUed, and two of the Danish ships were taken ; the third 
sheered off, after all that manned thfem Lad fallen, except 
five. After this success, in attempting to join their consorts 
near the Danish ships on shore, the English got aground. 
Upon observing which the Danes fi'om the three vessels on 
the beach attacked the three English ships that were op- 
posed to them. Then those who were on board the other 
six ships might be seen beating their breasts and tearing 
their hair^ while they looked on imable to afford as- 
sistance. But the English defended themselves man- 
fully, while the attack of the Danes was bold and spirited. 
Forty-two fell on the side of the English, and 120 on 
that of the Danes. Among these was Lucumon, the com- 
mander of the royal force, who fell fighting bravely ; upon 
which the English gave way by degrees, and the Danes 
might almost claim the victoiy. And now by the return of 

* This is an interpolation, in Henry of Huntingdon'9 usual style, in the 
unaffected narrative of the Saxon Chronicle, while he omits some cha- 
racteristic details ; but the whole episode is extremely interesting. 



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A.D. 901.] DEATH OP KINO ALFRED. 161 

the tide, the Danes were enabled to put to sea, pursued too 
late, and to no purpose, by the nme English ships. But 
the victorious Danes were met by a contrary wind, which 
drove two of their ships on shore, and the crews were made 
prisoners and brought to the king, who commanded them 
all to be hanged at Winchester. Those who were in the 
third ship sailed to Eas^ABglia, though severely woxmded. 
The same year twenty ships with their crews perished on 
the south coast. 

[a.d. 901.] King Alfred died, after a reign of twenty-eight 
years and a half over all England, except those parts which 
were under the dominion of the Danes, His indefatigable 
government and endless, troubles I cannot worthily set 
forth except in verse : — 

" Toilsome tby onward ppth to high renown, 
Thorny the chaplet that entwin'd thy crown, 
Unconquer'd AUred i Thine the dauntless mind. 
That in defeat conid fresh resources find. 
What though thy hopes were ever dash'd with care. 
Still they were never clouded with despair: 
To day, victorious, future wars \*ere plann'd. 
To day, defeated, future triumphs scann'd. 
' Thy way-soil'd garments, and thy blood-stain'd sword, 

^^ Sad pictures of the lot of kings afford ; 

Who else, l^e^lus, throughout the wide world's space. 

Bore in adversity so brave a iaxx ? 

The sword, for ever bare in mortal strife, 

Faird to cut short thy destin'd thread of life ; 

Peaceful thy end : may Christ be now thy rest! 

Thine be the crown and sceptre of the blest I 

[a.d. 901.] Edward, the son of King Alfred, succeeded 
to his father's kingdom, which he held 24 j^ears. His 
younger brother Ethelwald^ married a wife and seized on 
Wimbome^ without leave of the King and the great men of 
the realm '^, whereupon King Edward led a body of troops 
as far as Badbury near Wimbome. But Ethelwald and his 
men held possession of the place, and closing the gates he 
declared that he would either hold it or there die. How- 

* The Saxon Chronicle calls him " the Etheling" (see note, p. 122), and 
brother's son of Edward. » Wimbome, in Dorsetehire. 

* Saxon Chronicle, " His Witan/' the great council of the nation. 

M 



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162 HENBT OF HUNTIN6D0N. [BOOK Y. 

ever, he sallied forth by night and made for the army which 
was in Northumbria. His illustrious birth caused him to 
be received with open arms, and he was elected king and 
paramount lord over the vice-kings and chiefs of that 
nation. King Edward, however, arrested the woman whom 
the young prince had married contrary to the will of the 
bishop, because she had been consecrated a nun. The 
same year died Ethelred, ealdorman of Devonshire, one 
month before the death of King Alfred, to whom he had 
been a faithful servant and follower in many of his wars. 

[a.d. 905 K] In the thkd year of King Edward, Ethelwald, 
the king's brother ^ assembled an army, which he trans- 
ported in a numerous flotilla into Essex, the people of 
which were speedily reduced to submission. The year 
following, he led a powerful army into Mercia, and com- 
pletely ravaged it as far as Cricklade. There he crossed 
the Thames, and swept off all the plunder he could find in 
Brseden* and the neighbourhood. After accomplishing 
this, they retimied home in trimnph. King Edward, how- 
ever, having hastily collected some troops, followed their 
rear, ravaging the whole territory of the Mercians between 
the Dyke and the Ouse, as far northward as the Fens. 
After which he resolved to retreat, and commanded his 
whole army to retire together; and they all withdrew, 
except the Kentish-men, who remained contrary to the 
king's order, though he sent seven messages after them. 
Then the army of the Danes intercepted the Kentish-men, 
and a battle was fought, in which fell Siwulf and Sighelm, 
ealdormen ; and Ethelwald, a king's thane ; and Kenwulf, 
the abbot ; and Sigebert, son of Siwulf; and Eadwold, son 
of Acca, and many others, though the most emment are 
named. On the side of the Danes were slain King Ehoric, 
and the Etheling Ethelwald, whom they had elected king; 
and Byrtsige, son of Brithnoth the Etheling ; and Ysop, 

' The date taken from the Saxon Chronicle does not agree with Henry of 
Huntingdon's chronology. There is much confusion in lus dates throng^^out 
Edward's reign, by the years which he reckoned. 

' See note on preceding page. 

^ Florence of Worcester d^ribes it as a wood or forest, called in Saxon 
** Bradene." 



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AJ). 906.] EING EDWARD THE ELDER. 168 

the Hold^; and Osketel, the Hold, with many others; for 
I cannot name them all. There was great slaughter on 
both sides, most on that of the Danes, though they claimed 
the victory. This same year died Elswitha, wife'* of King 
Edward. 

[a.d. 906.] King Edward, in the fifth year of his reign, 
concluded a peace with the East- Angles and Northumbrians 
at Hitchingford. The year following^, the king levied a 
powerful army in Wessex and Mercia, which took great 
spoils, both in men and cattle, fix>m the Northumbrian 
army, and, slaying numbers of the Danes, continued to 
ravage the country for ^ye weeks. The next year* the 
Danish army entered Mercia, with intent to plunder ; but 
I3ie king had collected 100 ships, and dispatched them 
against the enemy. On their approach they were mistaken 
for allies ^ and the Danish army supposed that they might 
therefore march securely wherever tiiey would. Presently ,^ 
the king sent troops against them out of Wessex and 
Mercia, who fell on their rear, as they were retiring home- 
wards, and engaged them in fight. A pitched battle ensued, 
in which the Lord severely chastised tbe heathen, many 
thousands of them meeting a bloody death, and theur 
chiefs were confounded, and, falling, bit the dust. There 
were slain King Healfdene and King Ecwulf [Ecwils], and 
the earls* Uthere and Scurf; with the "Holds" Othulf, 
Benesing, Anlaf [Olave] the Black, Thurferth, and Osferth, 
the collector of flie revenue ; and Agmund the Hold, and 
Guthferth the Hold, with another Guthferth^. The ser- 
vants of the Lord, having gained so great a victory, rejoiced 
in the living God, and gave thanks with hymns and songs 
to the Lord of hosts. The year following [a.d. 911-12], 

> Hold, a Danish title of office, the significatioii of which if unknown. 
It seems to have heen inferior to that of Jarl. Was it the custody of a 
castle or fortified town ? 

' *' Queen mother of King Bdward." — Rog, Wendov, 

^ The Saxon Chronicle gives these dates as a.d. 910-911, the ninth and 
tenth years of Edward. 

* Henry of Huntingdon's account of this armament seems confused, and 
that of the Saxon Chronicle is not more satisfactory. 

• The Norwegian " Jarl," a dignity or office not as yet introduced among 
the Anglo-Saxons. 

' The Saxon Chronicle places this hattle under a.b. 911. 



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164 HENBT OF HUNTINGDON. [bOOK V. 

on the death of Ethered, ealdorman of Mercia, King Edward 
took possession of London and Oxford, with all the land 
belonging to the province of Mercia ^ 

King Edward, in the ninth- year of his reign, built Hert- 
ford, a very fair, though not a large castle *, between the 
Benwic, the Memer, and the Lea, very clear, though not 
deep, rivers. The same year he built a town at Witham, 
in Essex, meanwhile remaining at Maldon ; and great part 
of the neighbouring people, who were before in subjection 
to the Danes, submitted to him. The following year*, 
the Danish army issued forth fix)m [North] Hampton 
and Leicester, breaJdng the truce which they had with the 
king, and made great slaughter of the English at Hocker- 
ton, and thence round in Oxfordshire. As soon as they 
returned to their quarters, another troop marched out and 
came to Leighton ; but the people of ttuat country, having 
intelligence of their approach, gave them battle, and, rout- 
ing them, regained the plunder which they had collected, as 
well as took the horses of the troop. 

In the eleventh* year of King Edward, a great fleet came 
from the south out of Lidwic [Britany], under two earls, 
Ohter and Bahold, and they steered west about till they 
reached the Severn shore ; and they pillaged the country 
in North* Wales, wherever they coidd, near the coast, and 
took prisoner Camcleac the bishop [of Llandaff ], and car- 
ried him off to their ships. However, King Edward ran- 
somed him for forty pounds. Afterwards, the army landed 
in a body, intending to pillage the neighbourhood of Arch- 
enfield^ but they were met by the men of Carleon* and 
Hereford, and other neighboiuing burgs, who fought and 
defeated them, with the loss of Earl !^ihold, and Geolkil, 

* Probably the neighbouring districts, certainly not the whole province of 
Mercia, in which we find Ethelfleda exercising rights of sovereignty after her 
imaband's death. 

* Saxon Chronicle, a.d. 913. ^ The Saxon Chronicle calls it a *'burg." 

* The Saxon Chronicle places this irruption under the year 917. 

* Saxon Chronicle, a.d. 918. 

* The Saxon Chronicle agrees with Henry of Huntingdon in calling it 
North Wales ; but it appears clearly to be an error, as all the places men- 
tioned border on South Wales ; access being obtained to them through tho 
estuary of the Severn. * In Herefordshire. 

* The Saxon Chronicle has " Gloucester ; " but Henry of Huntingdon il 
probably right, Carleon being so much nearer the scene of action. 



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A.D. 918.] THE DANES IN THE SEVERN. 165 

the brother of Earl Ohter, and great part of the army, and 
they drove the rest into a certam fortified camp, where 
they besieged them till they gave hostages and solemnly 
swore to depart the king's territories. Then the king 
caused the shores of the Severn to be guarded, from the 
south coast of Wales round to the Avon ; so that the Danes 
durst nowhere attempt an irruption in that quarter. Twice, 
however, they contrived to land by stealth ; once to the 
eastward, at Watchet^, the other time at Porlock * ; but on 
both occasions veiy few escaped destruction besides those 
who could swim to their ships. These took refuge in the 
Isle of Stepen [and Flat-holm^], in the greatest distress for 
want of food, which they were imable to procure, so that 
numbers died from hunger. Thence they retreated into 
Demet^, and from thence crossed over to Ireland. The 
same year King Edward went with his army to Bucking- 
ham, where he sat down four weeks, and made an entrench- 
ment on both sides of the water before he went thence. 
Earl Thurkytel submitted to him there, and all the earls 
and chief men that belonged to Bedford, with some of those 
belonging to Northampton. 

The old chronicles^ mention a battle between the Kent- 
ish men and the Danes at the Holme, in the twelfth year of 
King Edward* ; but they leave it imcertain who were the 
conquerors. The second year afterwards, the moon was 
eclipsed, to the great consternation of the beholders ; the 
third year, a comet appeared ; the fourth year, Chester was 

* Watchet and Porlock are two small harbours on the Somersetshire coast 
of the Severn Sea, or Bristol Channel. 

* The Steep and Flat-holms are two islets off the same coast. 

' Demet or Divet, Pembrokeshire, where, from Milford Haven, is the 
nearest passage to Ireland from the west of England. 

* Henry of Huntingdon here introduces a series of events of an earlier 
date than that to which he had arrived. 

* The Saxon Chronicle, which contains no further particulars of this 
battle, gives the date of it a.d. 902; the second, instead of the "twelfth," 
year of Edward's reign. As Henry of Huntingdon notices the events of 
the succeeding years in a tolerably accurate sequence, we might suppose that 
the numeral x. had crept in before ii., by an error of the transcribers, did not 
all the MSS. agree with the received text, and were it not plain, fi'om sub- 
sequent entries, that Henry of Huntingdon himself is generally at fault in 
his chronology of this period. 



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166 HEKBT OF HUKTINODON. [BOOK Y. 

rebuUt ; the fifth year, the body of St Oswald was trans- 
lated from Bardeney into Mercia ; the sixth year the Eng- 
lish and Danes fou^t at Totenhall. Who can find language 
to describe the fearful encounters, the flashing arms, the 
terrible clang, the hoarse shouts, the headlong rush, and 
the sweeping overthrow of such a conflict? In 3ie end, the 
divine mercy crowned the faithful with victory, and put to 
shame the heathen Danes by defeat and flight The same 
year, Ethelfleda, lady of the Mercians, who governed them 
in the name of Ethered, her infirm father^, bmlt the fortress 
at Bramsbuiy. 

* Ethered was the husband, not the &ther, of Bthelfleda. Mr. Petzie 
remarkf : ** The Saxon Chronicle nowhere tells ns who Ethelfleda was, ex- 
cept as it describes her to be the lady of the Mercians. When, therefore," 
he continues, " Henry of Huntingdon found that she succeeded Ethered, 
but did not know why, he had recourse to the fiction of her being hn 
daughter. And what he tells us of the infirmity of Ethered is invented 
to account for her being so warlike a woman." Henry of Huntingdon has 
certainly £allen into the error of calling Ethelfleda the daughter, instead of 
the wife of Ethered ; and the Saxon Chronicle is singularly silent as to the 
fiimily history of so distinguished a character as this daughter of Alfred, 
though it recounts her great achievements. But it has escaped Mr. Petrie'a 
observation, that in one passage, nnder the year 922, the Saxon Chronicle 
does describe hw as the ** sister ** of King Edward, with which the chronicle 
of Ethelwerd, as well as Florence of Worcester, agree. Ethered may or 
may not have been infirm, as Henry of Huntingdon describes him ; but the 
chsuracter given him by Florence of Worcester points rather to excellenoa 
suited to less troublesome times. There was, however, no necessity for 
Henry of Huntingdon to invent the story of his infirm health, in order to 
account for the active part taken by Ethelfleda in those wars ; for there is 
no record of her having done so in his lifetime. The first act attributed to 
her, the building of the burgh of Bremesbury, bears date the very year, or 
according to one MS., the year before the death of Ethered. My own im- 
pression is, that the great fief of the province of Mercia, formerly a kingdom 
of the Heptarchy, was granted to Ethelfleda and her husband jointly, her 
royal birth giving her pretensions to be associated with him in the govern- 
ment, he himself, though a high and tnisty officer of her father King Alfred, 
being of inferior rank, though of the blood royal of the Mercian kings, as 
Boger of Wendover describes him. At his death the sole government fell to 
her as a matter of right ; and it is so described by Florence of Worcester, 
though Edw{£rd usurped part of her dominions. It may be remarked also, 
that he mentions an act of their joint government, just as we should speak 
of an act of '* William and Mary ;" — "the city of Carlisle was rebuilt by 
command of Ethered and Ethelfleda.*' This was A.D. 908, two years be* 
fore Ethered's death. 



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A.D. 910-12.] ETHELFLEDA, LADY OF MERCIA. 167 

, In the eighteenth * year of Kmg Edward, Ethered ^, lord 
of Mercia, 5ie father [husband^] of Ethelfleda, having been 
long infirm, departed this Hfe, and as he had no son he 
left his territories to his daughter [wife]. Two years after- 
ifards, Ethelfleda, lady of Mercia, built a burg at Scsergate, 
and the same year another burg at Bridgnorth ; the third 
year, Ethelfleda, lady of Mercia, built a biurg at Tamworth, 
in the early part of the summer ; and before August, that of 
Stafford. The fourth year, in the beginning of summer, 
she built a burg at Edderbury ; and at the end of August, 
the burg at Warwick. The fifth year, she built a burg at 
Cherbur}^ after Christmas ; and that at Warburton, in the 
summer; and the same year also that at Runcorn. The 
sixth year, she sent an army into Wales, which, having 
defeated the Welch, stormed Brecknock; they took pri- 
soners the wife of the King of Wales, with thirty-three 
of her attendants. The seventh year, Ethelfleda, lady of 
Mercia, got possession of Derby, with the country depen- 
dant upon it; there was a numerous garrison in the town 
of Derby, but they diirst not sally forth against her. 
Whereupon she commanded a vigorous assault to be made 
on the fortress, and a desperate conflict took place at the 
very entrance of the gate, where four of Ethelfleda's bravest 
thanes were slain; but, notwithstanding, the assailants 
forced the gate, and made a breach in the walls. The 
eighth year ^, Ethelfleda, lady of Mercia, reduced Chester, 



' Heniy of Huntingdon hat recorded Etbelred'g deatH before, see p. 163. 
It occurred, according to different MSS. of the Saxon Chronicle, between 
A.I>. 910-912. It may hare been in the eighth instead of the eighteenth 
year of Edward's reign, erroneously given by Henry of Huntingdon ; and 
the mistake would be explained by the interpolation of the numeral, similar 
to that suggested in a former note. But Henry of Huntingdon seems to 
have fallen into the mistake of substitutinar the death of Ethered for that of 
Elfleda, which may concur wj.th. the 18lh year of Edward, being noted in 
the Chronicle as a.d. 918 or 919. 

2 See note on p. 166. 

• Henry of Huntingdon has collected the acts of the eiirht years of 
Ethelfleda's government from various entries in the Saxon Chronicle into 
one continued series, and has coupled them with an erroneous calculation of 
periods in Edward's reign. Not only so, but this has led him to extend the 
reign to 26 years^ though he states at the commencement that it lasted 24 
only. 



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168 HENBT OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK V. 

and most of the troops stationed there submitted to her ; 
the Yorkshire people also promised her tlieir alliance, to 
which some gave pledges, and some confirmed them with 
their oaths. After this convention, she died at Tamworth 
[a.d. 918-922 ^], twelve days before the feast of St. John, 
and in the eightii year of her government of Mercia. She 
was buried at Gloucester, in the porch of St. Peter's. This 
princess is said to have been so powerful that she was 
sometimes called not only lady, or queen, but king also, 
in deference to her great excellence and majesty ^. Some 
have thought and said that if she had not been suddenly 
snatched away by death, she would have surpassed the most 
valiant of men. The memory of so much eminence would 
supply materials for endless song ; it demands, at least, a 
short tribute in verse : — 

** Heroic Elflede ! great in martial &me, 
A man in valoar, woman though in name ; 
Thee warlike hosts, thee^ nature too obey'd, 
Conqu'ror o'er both, though born by sex a maid. 
Chang'd be thy name, such honour triumphs bring, 
A queen by title, but in deeds a king. 
Heroes before the Mercian heroine ' quail'd : 
Caesar himself to win such glory fiurd." 

King Edward, in the twenty-sixth* year of his reign, 
deprived Elfwina, the sister ' of Ethelfleda, of the lordship 
of Mercia, to which she had succeeded ; the king regarding 
more the policy than the justice of the act. Subsequently, 

' Two MSS. of the Saxon Chronicle place it in 918; the yersion gene- 
xally received is 922. 

* Ethelfleda seems to have possessed a large share of her brother Alfred's 
spirit. She was indeed an extraordinary woman, at a period when even 
manly virtues were rare. Henry of Huntingdon does justice to her great 
qualities, respect for which must be my apology for the length at which. I 
£ave attempted to clear up her history. 

* " Virgo virago." Our author unaccountably lost sight of her real po- 
sition. 

* Edward's reign lasted only 24 years ; see note 3 on p. 167. From the 
death of King Edward, known in History as Edward the Elder, to the year 
1000, very few chronological notices are found in Henry of Huntingdon's 
History. 

^ Elfwina was the daughter of Ethelfleda, by Ethered. She is named 
Elgiva by Roger of Wendover, who calls her the only child, and gives a 
curious reason for it. — Rog. of Wendover, BohrCs Edition^ vol. i. p. 243. 



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A.D. 924.] KING ATHELSTAN. 169 

he built a burg at Gladmuth^. He died not long after- 
wards at Ferandime^, and Edward, his son, expired very 
shortly after, at Oxford; and they were both biuied at 
Winchester. Not long before, Sihtric, king of Northiunbria, 
had slain his brother Nigel; after which outrage King 
Eeginald won York. 

[a.d. 924.] Athelstan, the son of Edward, was elected 
king of tlie Mercians, and ' crowned at Kingston ; whose 
reign was short, but not the less illustrious for noble deeds ; 
who fought with the bravest, but was never conquered. 
For in the course of the year following'^, Guthfrith, king of 
the Danes, brother of Reginald, the king already named, 
having provoked him to war, was defeated and put to flight, 
and slain. Not long afterwards, by a stroke of adverse 
fortune, Athelstan lost his brother Edwin, the Eiheling, a 
young prince of great energy and high promise, who was 
imhappily drowned at sea. After these events ^ King 
Athelstan, resolving to subjugate entirely the heathen 
Danes and faithless Scots, led a very large army, both by 
sea and land, into Northumbria and Scotland, and as there 
was no one able to offer resistance, he overran the country, 
pillaging it at his will, and then retired in triumph. 

In the year of grace 945*, and in the fourth year of 
his reign, King Athelstan fought at Brunesburh*' one of 
the greatest battles on record against Anlaf, king of 
Ireland, who had imited his forces to those of the 
Scots and Danes settled in England. Of the grandeur of 
this conflict, English writers have expatiated in a sort of 
poetical description', in which they have employed both 

* Or Clede-mnth, the mouth of the Cleddy, in Pembrokeshire. Henry of 
Huntingdon strangely takes no other notice of the three last busy years of 
Edward's reign. 

* Famdon, in Northamptonshire, which was in Mercia ; not Farringdon, 
in Berkshire, and part of Wessex, as Gibson and others interpret it. 

« The expulsion of Guthfrith (from Yorki) did not take place till 927. 
*■ Edwin was drowned a.d. 933. The expedition into Scotland took place 
the same year. 

* This should be 937, the fourteenth, not the fourth, year of Athelstan. 

* Ingram in his map places Bruneburg or Brunanburg in Lincolnshire, 
Bear the Trent. Ingram and Giles call it Brumby. 

' Henry of Huntingdon refers to the metrical account of this battle, in- 



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170 BENBT OF HUNTINODON. [BOOK V. 

foreign words and metaphors. I therefore give a faithful 
version of it, in order that, by translating their recital 
almost word for word, the majesty of the language may 
exhibit the ms^estic achioTements and the heroism of the 
English nation. 

" At Bninesburh, Athelstan the king, noblest of chie&, 
giver of collars^, emblems of honour, with his brother 
Edmund, of a race ancient and illustrious, in the battle, 
smote with the edge of the sword. The offspring of 
Edward, the departed king, cleft through the defence of 
shields, struck down noble warriors. Their innate valour, 
derived from their fethers, defended their coimtiy, its trea- 
siures and its hearths, its wealth and its precious things, 
from hostile nations, in constant wars. The nation of tbe 
Irish, and the men of ships, rushed to the mortal fight; 
the hills re-echoed their shouts. The warriors struggled 
from the rising of the sim, illuminating depths witi^ its 
cheerful rays, &e candle of God, the torch of the Creator, 
till the hour when the glorious orb sunk in the west. 
There numbers fell, Danish by race, transfixed with spears, 
pierced through their shields; and with them feU the 
Scottish men, weary and war-sad. But chosen bands of 
the West-Saxons, the live-long day, imshrinking from toil, 
struck down the ranks of their barbarous foe ; men of hi^ 
breeding handled the spear, Mercian men hurled their 
sharp darts. There was no safety to those who with 
Anlaf, coming over the sea, made for the land in woocten 
ships, fated to die ! Five noble kings fell on the field, in 
the prime of their youth, pierced with the sword ; seven 
earls of King Anlaf, and Scots without number. Then 
were the Northmen quelled in their pride. For not a few 
came over the sea to the contest of war ; while but a few 
heard their king's groans, as, borne on the waves, he flkl 

serted in the Saxon Chronicle, which contains seyeral other such relics of 
ancient poetry. His " version " is tolerably " faithful/' as &r as it goes, ex- 
liibiting the character and much of the spirit of the original poem ; but it is 
much curtailed. The historian adopts a sort of rythm suited to the shatt 
lines of the Anglo-Saxon poem, which it is attempted to preserre in the pre- 
wnt translation. 

' " Torquium dator." The Anglo-Saxon phrase is heals-ffiva, "girer of 
bracelets." 



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A.D. 937.] BATTLE OF BBUNEBUB0. 171 

from the rout Then was fierce Froda^, chief of the 
Northmen, Constantine with him, king of the Scots, stayed 
in his hoasting, when corpses were strewed on that battle- 
field, sad remnant left of kindred bands, relations and 
fiiends, mixed • with the common folk slain in the fight; 
there, too, his dear son was stretched on the plain, man- 
gled with womids. Nor could Danish Gude^ hoary in 
wisdom, soft in his words, boast any longer. Nor could 
Anlaf himself, with the wreck of his troops, vaunt of suc- 
cess in the conflicts of war, in the clashing of spears, in 
crossing of swords, in councils of wise men. Mothers 
and nurses wailed for their dear ones, playing the game of 
ill-fated war with the sons of King Edward. 

" The Northmen departed in their nailed barits, and 
Anlaf, defeated, over the deep sought his own land, sorrow- 
ing much. Then the two brothers Wessex regained, leav- 
ing behind them reUcs of war, the flesh of the slain, a 
bloody prey. Now the black raven with crooked beak, the 
livid toad, and eagle and kite, the dog and the wolf, with 
tawny hide, gorged themselves freely on the rich feast. No 
battle ever was fought in this land so fierce and so bloody, 
since the time that came hither, over the broad sea, Saxons 
and Angles, the Britons to rout; famous war-smiths, who 
struck down the Welsh, defeated their nobles, seized on 
the land." 

I now return to the history, which has been interrupted 
lor the sake of introducing this interesting record. 

[a.d. 940.] King Athelstan, after a reign of fourteen 
years, was no more seen among men. He was succeeded 
by his son [brother] Edmund, who reigned six years and a 
half. In the fourth year of his reign, the king of the 
Franks treacherously put to death William, the son a£ 
Rollo, who obtained possession of Normandy, a province of 
France, and was the foimder of the Norman nation. 

King Edmund led his army into that part of Mercia 

1 Hylde-rme is the name given to this worthy in the original poem. 
Houy of Huntingdon haa transferred another word from ita place and made 
it a proper name. 

* The old chief* is called Inwidda-Inwood in the Saxon poem. Henry 
of Huntingdon, probably not very well versed in the old English tongue, 
makes Gude^ ''fight," into ene of the heroes. 



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17/J HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [bOOK V, 

which had been long subject to the heathens, as far as the 
broad river Humber, conquering the Danes, and triinn- 
phantly recovering the " Five Burghs," Lincoln, Leicester, 
Stamford, Nottingham, and Derby ; and, utterly extirpating 
the Danes, who even at that time were called Normans, he 
purified those towns from heathenism, and, by God's grace, 
restored to them the light of the gospel At that time 
[a.d. 942] died King Anlaf, before mentioned. Afterwards, 
King Edmund received another Danish king, named Anlaf, 
in baptism ; who yielded as much to the force of arms, as 
to his convictions of the truth of the faith. A few days 
afterwards, he also received, from the hand of the bishop, 
Keginald king of York, who is already spoken of as having 
subjected that city. 

After King Edward's return into Wessex, where he was 
received in great triumph, these Danish kings, Anlaf, son 
of Sihtric, and Keginald, son of Guthfrith, broke the treaty 
of peace they had entered into, and ravaged that part of the 
kingdom which they had ceded to Edward ; therefore that 
most warlike king declared war against them, and having 
assembled an army, marched into Northumbria, from which 
he not only expelled both those kings, but for the first 
time annexed the kingdom of Northiunbria to his own 
kingdom of Wessex. The year following, he ravaged and 
overran the whole of Cumberland; but inasmuch as he 
was unable permanently to subjugate the people of that 
province, a treacherous and lawless race, he made it over to 
Malcolm, king of Scotland, on the terms of his granting 
him aid both by land and sea. 

[a.d. 946.] When Edward, this victorious king, had 
reigned gloriously six years and a half, all things happening 
prosperously, and he being sole king of all England, he 
was traitorously stabbed on St. Augustine's day; an im- 
pious murder, which will be held in detestation through all 
ages. Thus snatched away by a sudden death, may Christ, 
in his mercy, be gracious to him ! 

Edred, brother of King Edmimd ^ and son [brother, also] 
of King Athelstan, succeeded, and the same year he led a 
strong party of troops into Northumbria, the people of 

^ Edmund's children were minors. 



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A.D. 946-955.] KING edbed's beign. 17B 

which submitted with impatience to the yoke of his do- 
minion, and completely subjugated it He then advanced 
his standards into Scotland ; but the Scots were so tennfied 
at his approach, that they submitted, without recourse 
being had to arms. Both the Northumbrians and the 
Scots confirmed by oaths the fealty due from them to their 
liege lord ; oaths which were not long respected : for after 
Edred's return to the southern part of his dominions, Anlaf ^, 
who had been expelled from Northumbria, returned thither 
[a.d. 949] with a powerful fleet. He was welcomed by his 
adherents, and reinstated in his kingdom, which he held 
by the strong hand for four years. But in the fourth year, 
the Northumbrians, with their usual fickleness, expelled 
Anlaf, and raised to the throne Eric, the son of Harold. 
His tenure of the kingdom was also short. For the glorious 
king, Edred, resumed again his sway in Northumbria, in 
the eighth year of his reign ; as the people of that country, 
never long submissive to the same master, after Eric, the 
son of Harold, had been king three years, dismissed him 
as carelessly as they had received him ; and, inviting King 
Edred, voluntarily replaced him on the throne. 

[a.d. 955.] Edred, an exemplaiy and 'powerM king, 
having at length become sole king over all the provinces of 
England, yielded to fate in the eighth year from that in 
which he had assimied the crown. Edv^, the son of King 
Edmund, succeeded Edred in the monarchy of all England^. 
For Edmund was the son [brother] of Athelstan, a most vir- 
tuous king, who was son of Edward, whose reign was prosper- 
ous, the son of Alfred the unconquered warrior, the son of 
Ethelwulf of paternal excellence, who was son of Egbert, 
who first raised the kingdom of Wessex to the ascendancy, 
exalting it by his valour and poHcy to the monarchy of 
all England. Edmund had two sons, Edwy the first-bom, 
and Edgar the youngest, who succeeded to the throne in 

* The third of the Danish kings of this name in these times : Anlaf, son 
of Guthfrith, Anlaf, son of Sithric, and this one, Anlaf Cuaran. 

' One MS. of the Saxon Chronicle allots Wessex to Edwy, and Mercia 
to Edgar; and the latter may have held his kingdom in some sort of suh- 
jection to his elder brother, as the paramount king. Roger of Wendorer 
says that the Mercians revolted from Edwy, and chose Edgar king. 



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174 HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [bOOZ V. 

the order of their bhlh. In the second year of Edwy's 
reign, Wulfstan, the Archbishop [of York], departed this 
hfe. This king wore the diaiiem not unworthily^; but 
after a prosperous and becoming commencement of his 
reign, its happy promise was cut short by a premature 
death. 

[a.d. 959.] Edgar the peaceful, the brother of the last- 
named king, reigned sixteen years. In his days this land 
received great benefits, and through the mercy of God, 
which he merited to the best of his power, his whole reign 
was ti*anquil. For he widely establi^ed the Christian faith 
in his dominions, and, by his bright example, encouraged 
fiiiitfulness in good works. Beloved boUi by God and 
man, his great concern was to promote peace among all 
the nations of his realm, nor did any of his predecessors 
hold the reins of power so quietly and so happily. Honour- 
ing God's name, and studying his law, he wiUingly learnt 
and gladly taught it, and was ready both by word and deed 
to invite his people to the practice of virtue. But the 
Divine Providence rewarded his servant Edgar for his good 
deeds, not in the next life only, but even in the present ; 
for the several subordinate kings, and the chiefs and people 
of all the nations of the land, submitted to him voluntanly 
in fear and love without a struggle, and without any hostile 
movements. Meanwhile, the fame of the king's illustrious 
character was spread through all countries, and foreignas 
came to witness his glory and to hear the words of wisdom 
firom his mouth. In one thing only he erred, establishing 
too secm-ely the heathens who were settled under him in 
this country, and being too partial and giving too much 
countenance to strangers who were attracted here^. But 
nothing human is altogether perfect 

[a.d. 963.] In the fifth year of the leign of King Edgar 

'Both Henry of Huntingdon and the Saxon Chronicle are silent on the 
subject of the unhappy and tragic passages of Edwy's reign, related or invented 
by later writers. Roger of Wendover blackened his memory with all the 
virulence with which some of the monkish writers treated it. 

' It was Edgar's wise policy to conciliate the Northmen settled in Eng- 
land, and to encourage colonization by their countrymen. The panegyric is 
borrowed from a metrical compositiun in honour of iKing Edgar in the Saxon 
Chronicle. 



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A.D. 969-975.] BEIGN OF EDGAR. 175 

the peaceful, the venerable Ethelwold was happily raised to 
the see of Winchester. This prelate, in the second year of 
his episcopacy, ejected some canons from the old monasteiy 
of Winchester, who observed the rules of their order with 
sloth and negligence, and introduced monks in their stead. 
This [conventual] church has been taken down in my time, 
because it was too near to the mother-church, which is the 
bishop's cathedral: with the consent, therefore, of the 
bishop and abbot, a new monastery^ has been foimded with- 
out the city walls. This excellent prelate, Ethelwold, was 
diligent in fencing about the Lord's vineyard, and, setting 
deep the roots of charity, in diverting from it the paths of 
unrighteousness. For he sowed good counsels, so that by 
his advice. King Edgar made new plantations, and nursed 
up offshoots of young growth most acceptable to God. The 
king built the abbey of Glastonbury; he ornamented 
the abbey of Abingdon, near the Thames ; he built up the 
abbey at Biu-ch, near Stamford, and founded an abbey at 
Thomey, near Burch, on a very pleasant spot, though in 
the midst of the Fens. At the instance also of Bishop 
Ethelwold, Ailwin, the king's ealdorman, founded Eamsey 
Abbey on a fair island in the same Fens. These Fens are 
of wide extent, and the prospect is beautiful ; for they are 
watered by numerous flowing streams varied by many lakes, 
both great and small, and are verdant with woods and 
islands. Within them are the church of Ely, Eamsey 
Abbey, Catteric Abbey, Thomey Abbey, and the abbey of 
Croyland. In the neighbourhood are ^e abbey of Peter- 
borough, Spalding Abbey, the church of St. Ivon upon the 
Ouse, a river in Huntingdonshire, and the church of St, 
Egidius on the Granta in Cambridgeshire, with the church 
of the Holy Trinity at Thetford. 

[a.d. 968.] In the eleventh year of his reign. King Edgar 
commanded the Isle of Thanet to be wasted, because the 
inhabitants had treated his royal rights witii contempt. 
But it was done not as by a raging enemy, but by a king 
inflicting punishment for evil deeds. In the thirteenth 
year of his reign. King Edgar was crowned at Bath on the 
day of Pentecost ; and soon afterwards he went at the head 

* The " new monastery " was built A.i>. 1110. 



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176 HENBT OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK V. 

of his army to Chester, where six^ kings came to meet hhn, 
all of whom were subordinate to him, and who pledged 
him then* fealty, and the service, due both by land and sea, 
to his imperial crown. 

[a.d. 975.] Edgar the peaceful, that glorious king, that 
second Solomon, in whose time no foreign army landed in 
England, to whose dominion the English kings and chiefs 
were subject, to whose power even the Scots bent their necks, 
after a reign of sixteen years and two months, died as hap- 
pily as he had lived. For he could not die unhappily who 
had lived well, who had dedicated so many chm-ches to 
God, and who had in a short time founded so many 
estabUshments consecrated in perpetuity to pious uses. 
The more zealously the societies of his foundation offer 
without ceasing their praises to God, the higher will be the 
degree of glory to which the blessed king will be advanced 
in heaven ; in whose praise my Muse prompts some short 
verse, which his worth demands : — 

" Blest in his kingdom's wealth, his people's love. 
The royal Edgar soars to realms above. 
Just laws he gave, and with the arts of peace, 
Made qrime, and violence, and war to cease. 
Another Solomon, his fame extends 
To distant lands, and time that never ends. 
New temples crown'd the hills at his command, 
Heap'd with rich gifts the sacred altars stand ; 
And hoary minsters own'd his lib'ral hand. 
Wisely he learnt the true and false to scan. 
And with eternity weigh life's short span." 

[a.d. 975.] Edward, the son of Kmg Edgar, who is 
called St. Edgar, succeeded to his father's kingdom. In the 
beginning of his reign there appeared a comet which, 
doubtless, foretold the great famine which followed in the 
year ensuing. For at fiiat time a certain dissolute noble, 
Elfhere by name, with the consent and the help of a powerful 
faction^, destroyed some of the abbeys which King Edgar 
and Bishop Ethelwold had founded. Wherefore the Lord 

* Other accounts make the number of these tributary princes eight ; the 
kings of the Scots, Cumbrians, Mona and the Isles, South Wales, two of 
North Wales, Galway, and Westmoreland. 

* Elfhere was earldorman or governor of the late kingdom, and now im- 
portant province, of Merda. 



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A.D. 978.] MURDER OF ST. EDWARD. 177 

was moved to anger, and, as of old, brought evil on the 
land. 

In the fourth year of the reign of St. Edward, all the 
great men of the English nation fell frpm a loft at Calne, 
except St. Dunstan, who supported himself by taking hold 
of a beam. Some of them were much hurt, and some were 
killed. It was a sign from the Most High of the impending 
forfeiture of his favour by the assassination of the king, and 
of the evils it would bring on them from various nations. 

[a.d. 978.] St. Edward, the king, after reigning five years, 
was treasonably slain by his own family at Corfe-gate, at 
even-tide ; and, carrying to the grave their malice towards 
him in life, he was buried at Wareham without royal 
honours, that his name might perish also. But here it was 
found that the depraved and dark coimsels of man are of 
no avail against the Divine Providence. For he who was 
was rejected by traitors on earth was received with glory by 
God in heaven, and he whose nsune his mm-derers sought to 
obliterate had his memory made for ever illustrious by the 
Lord. Whereupon the Lord was a^ain moved to anger, 
more than He was wont, and determined to visit the wicked 
nation with a grievous calamity. It is reported that his 
stepmother, that is the mother of King Ethelred, stabbed 
him with a dagger while she was in the act of offering him 
a cup to drink. 

Ethelred, son of King Edgar, and brother of Edward, 
was consecrated king before all the nobles of England at 
Kingston. An evil omen, as St. Dimstan interpreted it, 
had happened to him in his infancy. For at his baptism 
he made water in the font; whence the man of God pre- 
dicted the slaughter of the English people that would take 
place in his time. In the early part of Ethelred's reign, the 
ealdorman Elfere, by Divine command, translated the body 
of St, Edward from Wareham to Shaftesbury. In the 
third year of King Ethelred's reign, there came seven ships 
of the Danes, the precursors of future ravages ; and they 
plimdered Hampshire. After that Elfere, the ealdorman 
before named, died and was succeeded by Alfric, whom the 
king harshly banished. At that time St. Ethelwold, the 
bishop [of Winchester], father of the monks and the star 
of the English church, obtained the vision of the Lord, 



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178 HBNBT OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK V. 

which he had earnestly desired. Not long afterwards, St. 
Dunstan was translated from the darkness of earth to the 
glory of heaven. When these two great hghts of the Eng- 
Ush nation were removed, England lost the armour of her 
defence, and was exposed, in h^ desolation, to the 
threatened wrath <rf the Almighty. The successor of St 
Dunstan was Ethelgar, who was succeeded hy Siric the 
year following ; and King Ethelred unmercifully wasted liie 
bishopric of Rodiester. Then the Lord, again provoked to 
wrath, no longer deferred what He had designed ; and the 
Banes landed in various quarters and over^iadowed Eng- 
land like the clouds of heaven [a.d. 988]. In one quarti^ 
Watchet was plundered, and the Danes, advancing from 
thence *, fell in with a body of English troops, and, engaging 
them, slew Goda their leader, and crushed that part of the 
army [a.d. 991]. In another quarter, Ipswich was plimdered, 
and Brithnoth, the ealdorman, who opposed them with a 
great force, was defeated in battle and slain, and his troops 
dispersed. 

It was in the thirteenth year of King Ethelred, that the 
pernicious counsel of Archbishop Siric was adopted by the 
English, that tribute should be pud to the Danes to induce 
them to refrain from plunder and slaughter. The sum paid 
was ten thousand pounds. And this infliction has con- 
tinued to this present day, and, imless God's mercy inter- 
poses, will still continue. For we now pay to our kings, 
from custom, the tax^ which was levied by the Danes from 
intolerable fear. After this, the king contrived a stratagem 
i^inst the Danes; but Alfric, the ealdorman, who viras 
banished by the king and again restored, fcwewamed them 
of it. It is truly ^aid, "The man whom you have once 
seriously injured, you should not afterwards easily trust." 
When, therefwre, the royal fleet, under the command of 
Elfric, the ealdorman, and Eorl Thorold^ sailed from 
London to intercept the Danes, they, having been fore- 
warned, made their escape. Then a more powerful Danish 

1 Into Deyonshire. ^ Thii tax was called Dane^tld, 

' Thorold was a Dane or Norwegian, as appears both by his name and 
title. Long before this time naturalized Northmen fought in the English 
ranks against new inrasions of their countrymen, as well as fiUed the bluest 
offices in church and state nnder the English kings. 



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A.D. 994.] INVASION OF OLAVB AND SWETN. 179 

fleet fell in with the royal fleet, and a naval battle ensued, 
in which many of the Londoners were slain, and the 
Danes captured the whole armament, witli Elfric, wh6 was 
on board and had the command. That same year, St 
Oswald, archbishop of York, passed to his heavenly reward, 
and Aldulf succeeded him. Afterwards Bamborough was 
stormed and pillaged, and the Danish fleet sailed up the 
Humber and ravaged the shores on both sides, in Lindsey 
and Northumbria. An En^ish force was collected and 
inarched agcdnst them, but as soon as the two armies met, 
Frene, Godwin, and Fritiiegist, the English commanders, 
gave the signal for flight At this time Ethelred ordered 
Elfgar, son of Elfric the ealdorman, to be deprived of sight, 
thereby increasing the odium in which his cruelty was 
held. Now, also, Ridiard the Second succeeded his father, 
Biehard the Elder, in Normandy. After these transactioiffi 
[aj>. 994], Clave and Sweyn came up to London on the 
nativity of St. Mary, with ninety-four ships ; but by the aid 
of the blessed Virgin, the Christians were deUvered from 
iheir heathen foes ; for the city being assaulted, and prepa- 
rations made to set it on fire, the ass£ulants were repulsed in 
great conflision. Frustrated in this enterprise, they spread 
thanselves through Essex, Kent, Sussex, and Hampshire, 
procuring horses and overrunning the country more fiercely 
than usual, and carrying everywhere fire and sword. Where- 
upon the king sent messengers to them with a promise of 
ransom and provisions, which they acc^ted, and spent the 
winter peaceaWy at [South] Hampton. King Ethelred 
also sent for Bang Clave, giving hostages for his safe con- 
duct, and entertained him honourably at Andover, where 
he received him at confirmation from the bishop's hands, 
and gave him many rich presents. Upon this, Clave pro- 
mised the king that he would never again appear in arms 
on the English territory, whidi promise he kept. About 
tlmt time, Siric, archbishop [of Canterbury], died.; aftar 
whom Elfric rec^ved the p«dl. 

[a.d. 995.] In the nineteenth year of King Ethelred, the 
Danes -sailed round the coast of Cornwall into the Severn, 
and pillaged Devonshire and South Wales. They also landed 
at Watchet, laying waste the country with fire and sword, 

N a 



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] 80 HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. • [BOOK V. 

Ketuming from thence they sailed round Penwith-stert^ to 
the south coast and entered the Tamar, which they went 
up as far as Liddyfoyd, committing everything to the 
flames, and burning Ordulfs Minster at Tavistock. After 
this the enemy sailed to Frome-mouth, and, landing, over- 
ran Dorsetshire with their usual success, there being no 
resistance. This year also [a.d. 998] they established 
themselves for a time in the Isle of Wight, drawing their 
supplies from Hampshire and Sussex* Afterwards they 
entered the Thames and sailed up the Medway to Ko- 
chester. There the Kentish men assembled and gave 
them battle ; theur attack was spirited, but the DaneSj who 
were ininred to constant war, repulsed it and remained 
masters of the field. 

[a.d. 1000.] Now King Ethelred assembled a powerful 
army and marched mto Cumberland, which was at that 
time the stronghold of the Danes, and he vanquished them 
in a great battle, and laid waste and pillaged almost all 
Cumberland. After this a party of the Danes landed at 
Exmouth and assaulted the town, but, meeting with a de- 
termined resistance, they drew off. Then they spread them- 
selves over the country under their constant leaders. Mars 
and Vulcan. The Somersetshire men assembled to oppose 
them, and engaged with them at Penhoe, but the Danes, 
whose only business was war, had the advantage. 

This Book, which relates to the Danes, though not too 
large for the importance of the subject, will now be brought 
to a close. I must, however, according to my custom, care- 
fully set before the reader, as a hght for his guidance, a 
short summary of the contents of the present Book. 

Of the kingdom of Kent, there is little to be said ; inas- 
much as Egbert, the king of Wessex, after expelling Bal- 
dred, retained it in his own hands, and at his death left it 
to his [second] son, Athelstan. After the death of Athel- 
stan, the kingdom of Kent reverted to Ethelwulf, his [elder] 
brother, who was also king of Wessex ; and he left it to his 
[youngest] son, Ethelbert, who, on the death of his brother 
Ethelbald, five years afterwards, inherited also the kingdom 
of Wessex, in which Ethelbald had succeeded Ethelwulf; 
BO that both kingdoms were again united under the rule of 
> The Land'f End. 



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A.D. 1000.] THE KINGS OF WESSEX. 181 

Ethelbert, and were never again separated. This suflSces 
with respect to the kingdom of Kent. 

The following summary will elucidate the history of the 
kingdom of Wessex : — 

Ethelwulf reigned xix. years. He was defeated by the 
Danes at Charmouth, but gained a great victory over them 
at Ockley. 

Ethelbald, his son, reigned v. yeai-s. He was buried at 
Sherbiun. 

Ethelbekt, his brother, reigned v. years. His officers 
and army defeated the Danes at Winchester. 

Ethelred, tlie brother of the two last kings, reigned v, 
years and a little more. He and his brother Alfred had a 
sharp encounter with the Danes at Reading. 

Alfred, his brother, reigned xxviii. years and a half. 
His acts were so numerous and so marvellous that nothing 
can be said of them in a short compass. 

Edward, the son of Alfred, reigned xxiv. years. He 
fought against the Danes in Northumbria; and again as 
they evacuated Mercia, when he gained a glorious victory 
and slew valiant kings. He also defeated the Danes at 
Tettenhall, and reduced Mercia. 

Athelstan, the son of Edward, reigned xiv. years. In his 
time was fought the great battle of Brunebiurh. 

Edmund, tide son of Athelstan, reigned vi. years and a 
half. He took fipom the Danes the "Five Burghs," and, 
reducing them to subjection, added Northumbria to his 
dominions. 

Edred, the brother of Edmund, for ix. years governed 
fortunately all the divisions of England. 

Edwt, the son of Edmimd, for iv. years possessed the 
same dominions, and the same extent of power. 

Edgar, son of Edmund, reigned xvi. years in peace and 
greater glory than all the rest. 

St. Edward, the son of Edgar, reigned v.* years ; his 
death (though sudden) was happy. 

Ethelred, his brother, suffering under the wrath of 
God, had a troublesome reign. Much of it I have still to 
relate. 

* It should be three years ; Edward succeeded his fether a.p. 975, and 
was killed a.d. 978. 



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182 HENBT OF HUMTIHGDON. [BOOK V. 

A short notice must now be giTen d the kingdom of 
NoRTHUMBRiA. In the time of Edielwulf, Osbert was king 
there ; but his subjects ejected him, as their custom was, 
and elected ^Ua king. Both of them were k'dled by the 
Danes, and for many years a succession of Danish kings 
jpagned in Northumbria. These were Healfdene, GodfreS, 
Nigel, Sitric, Eeginald, and Olaf. But their history is con- 
fused ; at one time we find a single king, at anodier two, 
at another several inferior kings. In the end, the kingdom 
fell under the dominion of Edred, king of Wessex, and his 
successors. Thus much is clear concerning the kingdom 
of Northumbria. 

A short account must be given of the kingdom of Mercia. 
Berthwulf, king of Mercia, in the third ^ year of his reign, 
was driven out by the Danes. Burrhed, also, after reigning 
xxii. years, was driven from his kingdom. The Danes 
having thus subjugated it, they allowed Ceolwulf to hold it ; 
but afterwards they divided it into several small portions. 
Part of the territory, and the lords of it, were still subject 
to the laws of Wessex At length, Edmimd, king of 
Wessex, reduced the whole of it imder his dominion. We 
find, then, that the kingdom of Mercia became altogether a 
dependency of the crown of Wessex. 

The kingdom of East-Anglia, which, as we have already 
observed, had by various means been long subjugated, was 
either held by the kings of Kent or of Wessex, and at other 
times by some one or by various persons to whom they 
granted it. Thus there was sometimes a single king, at 
others many subject kings. St. Edmund was the last of 
the English kings who governed East-Anglia imder the 
king of Wessex ; when he was slain, Guthrum, the Dane, 
became king there ; and afterwards the Danes divided the 
kingdom into small portions, and it continued under their 
government until King Edward reduced the greatest part 
of it to submission to himself. Thus it appears how the 
kingdom of East-Anglia became annexed to the crown of 
Wessex. 

I now come to treat of the origin and the causes of the 
coming of the Normans into England. 

* Thirteenth year. 



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A.D. 1000.] POLITICAL STA:^ OF ENQLAND. IBS 



BOOK VI. 

Ik the year 1000 from our Lord's incarnation, King Ethel- 
red, before mentioned, in order to strengthen himself on 
the throne, formed the design of demanding in marriage 
^e daughter of Eichard, duke of Normandy. For he was 
a valiant prince, and all-powerful in the kingdom of France; 
while the English king was deeply sensible of his own and 
his people's weakness, and was under no small alarm at 
the calamities which seemed impending. It is clear that 
these were the work of God, who brings evil on the repro- 
bate. For it was the purpose of the Almighty to distract 
and afflict the English nation, whose wickedness called for 
punishment ; just as before He had hiunbled the Britons, 
when their sins accused them. He therefore prepared a 
double chastisement and a snare, as it were, into which 
they might fall as the device of an enemy. And thus it 
was that while on the one hand the Danish invasion was 
raging, and on the other the Norman alliance was springing 
up, if they escaped the open attacks of the Danes, they 
mi^t not have the firmness to break the meshes in which 
the subtlety of the Normans would entangle them un- 
awares. And so it appeared in the sequel, when from this 
union of the king of England with the daughter of the 
Duke of Normandy, the Normans justly, according to the 
law of nations, estabhshed a footing in England, while 
they vilified it Indeed, a certain man of God had pre- 
dicted to them that, on account of the enormity of their 
offences, not only because bloodshed and rebellion were 
ever in their thoughts, but also because they abandoned 
themselves to gluttony and to the neglect of the temples of 
the Lord, a tyranny tiiey UttJe expected would come upon 
them fi-om France, which should for ever trample their 
greatness in the dust, and scatter their glory to the winds, 
never to be recovered. He also predicted that not ontj 



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184 HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK VI. 

that nation, but the Scots whom they despised, would lord 
over them to their merited confusion. He predicted, no 
less, the revolutions of the coming age ; as the inconstancy 
which lurked in men's minds, and became apparent in 
their acts, was eidiibited by the endless changes of their 
apparel and ornaments. The English king having there- 
fore, witli the policy before adverted to, dispatched an 
embassy to the Duke of Normandy, and his proposals 
being accepted, English nobles of high rank, fitting such 
an employment, were sent into Normandy at the appointed 
time to receive and bring over their fature lady; and 
they accordingly conducted her with royal pomp into 
England. 

Ijol the year 1002, Emma^, the flower of Normandy, came 
into England, and was crowned and received the title pf 
queen. After her arrival the king was so elated with pride 
that he committed a breach of faith by giving clandestine 
orders tbat all the Danes who were living peaceably in 
England should be treacherously massacred in one and the 
same day, on the feast of St. Brice. I have heard in my 
youth some very old persons^ give an accoimt of this 
flagrant outrage. They said that tibe king sent with secrecy 
into every town letters, according to which the English 
suddenly rose on the Danes, everywhere on the same day 
and at the same hour, and either put them to the sword, or, 
seizing them unawares, burnt them on the spot^ The 
same year, the king banished Leofsy, the ealdorman, because 
he had slain Effic, the king's high-grieve. 

In the year 1003, the fury of the Danes was inflamed, 

* Emma was called by the Saxons Elfgiva. — Flor. of Wor, 
^ Henry of Huntingdon now approaches his own times, and this is the 
earliest instance of his referring to what may be called contemporary au- 
thority ; but as he was bom at the close of the tenth century, his informants 
must have been from 80 to 90 years of age. In his next Book he professes 
to relate only what he had seen himself or heard from eye-witnesses ; but, 
as it has been elsewhere observed, it is not until his eighth and last Book 
that he has the merit of being an original and contemporary writer. 

' Henry of Huntingdon does not mention the motives assigned by the 
Saxon Chronicle to Ethelred for this treacherous massacre, viz. that the 
Danes were conspiring to murder the king and his " witan." It may there- 
fore be concluded that he did not believe the story, and he conveys the im* 
pression that the massacre was a wanton and unjustifiable cruelty. 



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A.D. 1003-4.] NEW DANISH INVASIONS. 186 

like fire when any one should attempt to extmguish it with 
blood. Overspreading the country like a swarm of locusts, 
some of them came to Exeter, which they stormed and 
sacked, carrying off all the booty, and leaving nothing but 
its ashes. Hugh, the Norman, Emma's bailiff^ in the 
town, was the cause of its destruction. Then the people of 
Hampshire and Wiltshire assembled to combat the enemy ; 
but when they were closing for battle, Elfric, their leader, 
feigned sickness, and pretended to vomit, and thus be- 
trayed those whom he should have led; so true is the 
proverb, " "When the general fails, the army quails."^ The 
Danes, taking advantage of the enemy's weakness, pursued 
them as far as Wilton, which they piUaged and burnt, and 
thence went to Salisbuiy, and then retired in trimnph to 
their ships with much booty. 

In the fou^ year^, Sweyn, one of the most powerful of 
the Danish kings, for whom the kingdom of England was 
destined by Providence, brought over a numerous fleet, 
and came to Norwich, which he sacked and burnt. Then 
Ulfcytel, the chief governor of the province*, who was taken 
unawares, and unprepared to offer any defence, made a 
treaty with the invaders ; but three weeks afterwards, during 
the truce, the enemy's army decamped privately, and 
marched to Thetford, which they also plundered and burnt. 
Upon learning this, Ulfcytel took post with a small band 
in ambush for the enemy, as at break of day they were 
retiring to their ships ; but though he attacked them reso- 

* Henry of Huntingdon calls him " Vicecomes ; " the Saxon Chronicle, 
" grieve," and a " churl," which Florence of Worcester amplifies into " eorL" 
We see here the first firuits of the Norman alliance. 

^ An old English proyerh. The reader may like to see the original text, 
Tvith its rhyme, antithesis, and alliteration : — 

" Donne se heretoga vacad, 
Donne bith eall se here gehindrad." 
Literally — 

" When the army-leader is sick. 
Then all the army are hindered." — See Sax, Chron, 

^ Henry of Huntingdon, for the sake of brevity, reckons from a.d. 
1000 during the rest of Ethelred's reijfn. 

* East-Anglia. Ulfcytel was of Danish extraction ; the Danish colonists 
were still predominant in the east, the centre, and the north of England. 



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186 HEKSY OF HUlVTIKOPOlf. [BOOK YI 

lately, and held them long in check, his force was too weak 
to cut off their retreat 

In the fifth year, the Danes sailed for their own country; 
hnt meanwhile there was no lack of calamity to the Ee^- 
lish, for they were visited with a desolating famine, heyond 
any known in the memory of man. 

In the sixth year, the audacious Sweyn reappeared c^ 
Sandwich, with a powerful fleet He was accompanied hy 
his three usual attendants, Are, slaughter, and pillage ; and 
all England trembled before him, like the rustling of a bed 
of reeds shaken by the west wind. The king, however, 
assembled an army, and k^t the £eld all Ihe autunm, 
without any restdts; for the aiemy, playing their usual 
game, eluded his attacks by taking to their ships, and 
making descents in other quarters. But in the beginning 
of winter they stationed themselves in the Isle of Wight; 
and as it was said by the prophet^, " I will turn your feasts 
into mourning," at Christmas they overran Hampshire and 
Berkshire, as far as Reading ; from thence to Cholsey ; and 
from thence by Ashdown to Cuckamsley Hill^. Feasting 
merrily wherever they went on what was set before iheni, 
on their departure ^ey recompensed their entertainment 
by the slau^ter of their hosts, and by burning the houses 
in which they had received hospitality. The Danes re- 
tiring to the sea^oast were encountered by the anny of 
Wessex, which gave Ihem battle. What, however, was the 
result, but that the Danes were enriched with the spoils of 
the conquered ! So the people of Winchester beheld the 
enemy's army passing boldly and insolently by the gates of 
their city, and conveying to the sea the supplies of food 
which ikey had collected 50 miles inland, together with the 
booty which had been the fruit of their victories. Mean- 
while, King Ethelred lay in sorrow and perplexity at his 
manor in Shropshire, where he was often sharply wounded 
with rumours of these disasters. 

In the seventh year, the king and "witan" of the Eng- 
lish, perplexed what to do and what to leave undone, at 
length resolved, by common consent, to make terms with 

> Amos TiiL 10. ^ In Berkshire. 



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AJ). 1009.] THE ENGLISH FLEET WKECJCED. 187 

the enemj. Thej accordingly paid him 30,000Z.^ to 
secure a peace. The same year, £dric was appointed 
ealdorman oyer Mercia; a new traitor, hut one of the 
hi^est class. 

In the eighth year, which was the thirtieth of Ethelred*s 
reign, the king caused a fleet to he fitted out, to which the 
whole of England contrihuted in the proportion of one ship 
for every estate of 310 hides ; and for every eight hides, a 
helmet and hreastplate were to he famished. A hide of 
land means so^much land as can he tilled in a year hy one 
plough. 

In the ninth year, the king sait messengers to the Duke 
of Normandy, to intreat for counsel and aid. Meanwhile, 
the fleet just mentioned assembled at Sandwich, with well- 
armed crews ; there had never before been so large a naval 
armament in Biitain in the time of any man. But Pro- 
vidence finstrated it. Thus it happened: the king had 
banished Child- Wulnoth^ the South-Saxon, upon which he 
collected 20 ships, and began to pillage the country near 
the [south] coast. Then Brightric Ednc, the ealdorman's 
brother, thinking to acquire renown, took with him 80 
ships of the fleet which had been assembled, and vowed to 
the king that he wotdd bring him his enemy either alive or 
dead. But after he had sailed, a most tempestuous wind 
drove all his ships ashore as wrecks, and Wulnoth presently 
landed and burnt them.. Struck by the evil tidings, the 
rest of the fleet returned to London ; the army also broke 
up; and thus the toll of the whole English nation was 
fruitless. And now, at harvest time, a fresh and innume- 
n^le army of the Danes arrived at Sandwich, and, mareh- 

> Florence of Worcester and Sim. Durham, 36,000^ So the Saxon 
Chronicle, according to one MS. and Dr. Giles's version. 

' Henry of Huntingdon's expression is " a noble youth." Ingram trans- 
lates the phrase, in his version of the Saxon Chronicle, "the South Saxon 
knight " [father of Barl Godwin], which he corrects in the Appendix, ob- 
gerving that child was a title given to an heir of noble rank, as aetheling 
was properly applied to those of royal birth. The title is fiEuniliariaed to the 
modem reader by the pilgrimage of " Childe Harold.'* It occurs again 
repeatedly in the Saxon Chronicle, and is applied to the heir apparent to the 
throne ; at least it is given to Edgar ^theling. Wnlfiioth or Wulnof ig 
called Ulfnadr by the old Scald or Saga writer, who gives a romantic account 
of the early fortunes of Earl Godwin^ who afterwards became so powerful. 



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188 HENRY OF HXTNTTNGDOK. [BOOK VI. 

ing to Canterbury, would soon have taken it, unless the 
citizens had obtained peace by payment of a ransom of 
3000/. The Danes then came to the Isle of Wight, and 
pillaged Sussex, Hampshire, and Berkshire. But King 
Ethelred, having mustered the whole force of England, 
marched to intercept them as they returned ; and then an 
end would have been put to their savage inroads, had not 
Edric, the ealdorman, again traitorous, dissuaded the king 
from fighting, by false reports and fictitious alarms. After- 
wards, the Danes, countermarching, fixed their winter 
quarters near the Thames, fi:om whence they made fi-equent 
assaults on London, and were as frequently repulsed. After 
Christmas they crossed the Chiltem^ to Oxford, which 
place they burnt, and then retiring established themselves 
in Kent. Their ships were brought roimd to meet them, 
and, during Lent, they employed themselves in putting 
them in repair. 

[a.d. 1010.] Li the tenth year the Danes landed at 
Ipswich on Ascension day, and their army attacked Ulfcytel, 
who governed the province ; but the East-Anglians incon- 
tinendy fled. The Cambridgeslure men, however, made a 
brave resistance ; and for this they were highly honoured 
as long as the English kings filled the throne. Their 
ranks being imflinchingly engaged, fearless of death, 
Athelstan, Sie king's son-in-law, and Oswy, and Edwy 
Efy's brother, with Wuliric the thane, and many other 
chief men, were slain. But while the English gave no 
thought to flight, Turketil Myre-head, that is, " Ant-head,'* 
first began it, thereby deserving endless disgrace. The 
Danes, being victorious, held possession of East-Anglia for 
three months, as well as the Fens described in the pre- 
ceding Book, with the churches, which they either plundered 
or biunt. They also destroyed Thetford and burnt Cam- 
bridge; and retreating thence over the hills, through a 
very pleasant coimtry near Balsham, they massacred all 
whom they found in that place, tossing the children on 
the points of their spears. One man, however, whose name 
ought to have been recorded, mounted the steps to the 
top of a church-tower, which is stiU standing there, and on 

» The Chiltem HUla, on the south-east of Oxfordshire. 



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A.D. 1011.] DANISH ASCENDANCY. 189 

this vantage post, by his great courage, he defended him- 
self, single handed, against the enemy ^. Then the Danes, 
passing through Essex, reached the Thames, and without 
lingering there pushed their advance into Oxfordshire and 
Buckinghamshire, and so to Bedford on the Ouse and to 
Tempsford. The river Ouse washes three fortified places, 
which are the chief towns of the counties of Bedford, 
Buckingham, and Himtingdon. Himtmgdon, that is, 
" the hill of hunters," stands on the site of Godmanchester, 
once a famous city, but now only a pleasant village on both 
sides- of the river. It is remarkable for the two castles 
before mentioned, and for its simny exposure, as well as for 
its beauty, besides its contiguity to the Fens, and the 
abundance of wild fowl and animals of chase ^. At the 
feast of St. Andrew they proceeded to Northampton, which 
they burnt; and at Christmas they crossed the Thames, 
and rejoined their fleet. 

In die eleventh year, the Danes, after ravaging the north 
side of the Thames, Cambridgeshire and Oxfordshire, 
Buckinghamshire, Essex and Middlesex, Hertfordshire and 
Bedfordshire, with the part of Huntingdonshire which is 
on that [south] side the river [Ouse] ; and after plundering 
on the south of the Thames, Kent and Surrey, Hastings 
and Sussex, Berkshire and Hampshire, and great part of 
Wiltshire, laid siege to Canterbury, the metropoUs of Eng- 
land, which was treacherously surrendered to them by 
Aylmer, whose life Elphege, the archbishop, had saved. 
Having gained an entry, they took prisoners Elphege, the 
archbishop, and Bishop Godwin'^ and the Abbess Lefwine*, 

1 This anecdote, thougli in itself unimportant, seems to indicate, among 
other such incidental notices, that Henry of Huntingdon^ in compiling his 
history, occasionally made use of traditionary reports, or of written docu- 
ments now lost. The attentive inquirer will easily discover where his addi- 
tions to the Saxon Chronicle, the staple of his narrative, are merely rhetorical 
embellishments, and where new &cts are introduced. In the present 
instance, the retreat over the hills from Cambridge^ and the defence made 
from Balsham church-tower, are not, we believe, noticed by any other 
ancient writer. At the same time the account of the proceedings of the 
Danes in the present year is otherwise less circumstantial, as is often the 
cage, than that of the Chronicle. 

' The Archdeacon of Huntingdon takes occasion to celebrate the praisee 
ef the town from which he derived his ecclesiastical title. 

' Of fiochester. * Of St MUdred's, in the Isle of Thanet, 



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190 HENBT OP HU1ITIN<HX>N. [BOOK TL 

with Elfward, the king's grieye, and numhers of men and 
women, and then they returned in trimnph to their sh^. 
It was terrible to witness the spectacle of an ancient and 
noble city reduced to ashes, its streets heaped with the 
corpses of the citizens, the ground and the riyer discoloured 
with blood, to hear the shrieks of women and boys led 
away ct^tives, and to see the head of the English church, 
the source of its doctrine, shamefully dragged away, bound 
in fetters. 

In the twelfth year, on Saturday in Easter week, the 
Danes were in a rage with the Archbishop, because he 
refused to be ransomed, and they were at the time drunk 
with wine, ^Hbich had been brou^t from the south. They 
therefore dragged him into the middle^, and casting stones 
and horns of ox^i upon him, at last, when he had offered 
an earnest prayer and thanksgiying to Almighty God, they 
dashed out his brains with a battle-axe. Thus fell the man 
of God, his sacred blood sprinkling ^e earth, while his 
beatified soul was reoeiyed within the heayeuly temple. 
On the morrow, the Bishops Ednoth and Elf hun* received 
the body, which they carried with due honour, and buried 
in St Paul's Minster, where God manifests die merit c^ 
the holy martyr. Lefwing succeeded as archbishop. Too 
late the king made peace with the Danish army, paying 
them as tribute 8OO0I. ; but it was just in time to save the 
coimtry from being washed by intolerable suffering. Forty- 
five of the Danish ships took service under the king, en- 
gaging to defend England, the king finding them in food 
and clothing. 

In the thirteenth year, Sweyn, king of Denmark, entered 
the Humber as far as Gainsborough, and Uhtred the earl, 
and all the Northumbrian nation, quickly submitted to 
him. The people, also, of Lindsey and the Five Burghs*, 
and all to the north of the Watling Street*, gave him 

1 The Saxon Gbronide nyi " hTutrngp,"* the hwi»4kmg being the popokr 
snembly, as well as the court of judicature, of the Northmen. The name n 
ttill preserved in our courts of hustings and electiye assemblies. 

' Bishops of Dordiester and London. ' See p. 172. 

^ The Watling Street, the great highway between London and Chettei^ 
wms by treaty the bevndary line between the Danelag, the Banish territory 
comprising all England east and north of that line^ and the lemaimBg poa* 
lof theki^of WcMex. 



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A.D. 1013-14.] SWETM AND CANUTE, KINGS. 191 

Iwstages. The king intrusted th« hostages and ships to 
tlie guardianship of his son Canute, and marched himself 
to Oxford and Winchester, receiving the submission of the 
people of those parts. On his return to London, many of 
his troops were drowned in the Thames, because itiej 
would not cross it by the bridge. Tho citizens, encouraged 
by the presence of King Ethelred, made a stout resistance, 
and Sweyn was forced to draw off his troops. He retreated 
to Wallingford, and from thence marched on Bath, where 
all Wessex gave in their submission to him. The Lon- 
doners, also, on his return with the fleet, gave him their 
allegiance, being in alarm lest he should utterly destroy 
their city. Upon this King Ethelred sent his queen, 
Emma, to her brother Eichard, in Normandy, and after- 
wards his sons Edward and Alfred. Sweyn was now 
acknowledged king by the whole nation, and he ordered 
provisions and pay to be levied for his army throughout all 
England; as Thurketil did for his troops at Greenwich. 
Meanwhile, King Ethehred went to Whitland^, ^ere he 
spent Christmas, and then crossed over the sea, and took 
refuge with Eichard, duke of Normandy. 

[a.d. 1014.] In the fourteenth year, Sweyn, now become 
king of England, died suddenly; and ihe Danish army 
elected his son Canute^ king. The English, however, 
dispatched messengers to King Ethelred, giving him to 
understand that if he would govern them more clemently 
than he had done before, they would willingly acknowledge 
him king. Upon which he sent over his son Edward, to 
promise on his part all that was fitting for the king and 
the people ; and, fdlowing himself, he was received with 
joy by the whole English nation. Meanwhile, Canute 
remained at Gainsborough, with his army, till Easter, and 
he made a certain agreement with the people of Lindsey"*; 
upon hearing which. King Ethelred came with a great 
army, and taking the country by surprise, laid it waste 
with fire, and put most of the provincials to the sword. 

1 Isle of "Wight 

* The name, is properly "Cnute," or "Knute;" but I haye thought it 
most advisable to follow the &miliar fonn. 

^ They were to find horses, sad the king was to join tbem in ] 
the Eoglish. The Danes had been loug paramount m Lindsey. 



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193 HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [bOOK VI. 

Canute, however, who was very crafty, left the people he 
had deceived to their fate, and sailed on hoard his fleet to 
Sandwich, and there he put on shore the hostages given 
to his father, having cut off their hands and noses. Besides 
all these evils, the king ordered that 21,0002. should he 
paid to the army stationed at Greenwich ^ To these ordi- 
nary evils the Lord added an extraordinary calamity ; for 
the tide rising imusually high, many villages and much 
people were washed away. 

In the fifteenth year, Edric, the ealdorman, foully be- 
trayed Sigeferth and Morcar, chief thanes [of the Five 
Bm-ghs], inviting them into his chamber, where he had 
them murdered. Whereupon Edmund, the king's son^, 
took Sigeferth's wife and married her, and seized &e lands 
of the two thanes. Meanwhile, Canute, returning from 
Denmark, landed at Sandwich; from thence he sailed to 
Frome-mouth, in Wessex, and from thence pillaged Dor- 
setshire, Somersetslure, and Wiltshire. King Ethelred lay 
sick at Corsham ; but Edmund, the Etheling, and Edric, 
the ealdorman, levied an army to oppose Canute. When 
they came together, Edric attempted to betray the Ethe- 
ling; so they parted, and the contest was abandoned, and all 
Wessex submitted to Canute, the Danish king. 

In the fifteenth year, Edric, who had gone over to the 
side of Canute, joined him with 40 ships, with which the 
king's fleet of 160 ships imited in the Thames. Thence 
the army crossed the river to Cricklade, and they laid 
waste all Warwickshire with fire and sword. Then King 
Ethelred issued a proclamation that every able man 
throughout England should join his army. But when vast 
numbers had been thus assembled, the king was informed 
that his followers were ready to betray him ; he therefore 
disbanded the army, and retired to London. Edmund, 
however, joined Utred, earl of Northumbria, and they plun- 
dered in company throughout Shropshire, Staffordshire, 
and Leicestershire. On the other side, Canute went 
through Buckinghamshire into Bedfordshire, and so into 
Huntingdonshire, and by the Fens to Stamford. He then 

> Stationed there, probably, to oyerawe the Londoners. 
« The "Etheling." 



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A.D. 1016.] ZING EDMUND IBONSIDE. 198 

passed through Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, and 
entered Northumbria in his way to York. When Utred 
heard this, he gave up his plundering, and, returning north- 
ward, was compelled to submit to Canute, as did all North- 
umbria ; but though he gave hostages, he was put to death. 
Edmund retreated to London, where his father lay ; while 
Canute, having made Eric earl over Northumbria, in the 
place of Utred, went back to his fleet before Easter. After 
Easter he sailed to London. 

[a.d. 1016.] Ethelred, the king, had died there before 
the arrival of the enemy's fleet, his reign of thirty-seven 
years having been attended with almost incessant toil and 
perplexities. His son Edmund, sumamed " Ironside," on 
account of his prodigious strength and his extraordinary 
resoluteness in war, was chosen king. After his elec- 
tion he went into Wessex, where all tihe people rendered 
him their allegiance. Meanwhile, the Danish fleet sailed up 
to Greenwich, and thence to London; and they dug a 
great canal on the south, and dragged their ships through 
it to the western side above the bridge. They likewise dug 
a trench roimd the city, so that no one could go in or go 
out. They also made frequent and desperate assaults 
against it, but the citizens oflfered a stout and wary re- 
sistance. 

Of the wars of King Edmund and his great prowess, the 
following account is given in ancient histories which celebrate 
his praise. Edmund's first battle with the Danish army 
was at Pen, near Gillingham, where fortime inclined to the 
side of Edmund ; his second battle was fought with Canute 
ab Sheiiton, and was severely contested. In this battle 
Edric, the ealdorman, and Aimer the beloved^, took part 
against King Edmund, and there was great slaughter on 
both sides, and the armies separated of themselves ^. In 

' Henry of Huntrngdon's text has Aimer Dyrling, which Ingram and 
Giles, in their translations of the Saxon Chronicle, render "Aimer the 
Darling." 

* Ingram gives an opposite turn to the parallel passage in the Saxon 
Chronicle ; ** and the leaders came together in the fight" He remarks in a 
note, " This is a new interpretation, but the word heras, the plural of hera, 
will justify it ; and it points at once to the distinguishing feature of this 
battle, which was the single combat between Canute and Bdmund. See an 

O 



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194 maonr of HuimKGDoir. [book ti. 

the third, he inarched to London with a diosen hand of 
troops, and, driving the besieging armj to their ships, 
raised the siege and Altered the city wil£ the triumph he 
had won. The fourth^ battle was fou^ i^ainst the same 
army two days afterwards on their retreat to Br^itford. 
Here many of his soldiers, in their too great haste to cross 
the river, were drowned, but notwithstanding he obtained 
the victoiy. Upon this. King Canute became alarmed, and 
drew together a number of troops to merease his iorceL 
Canute also and Edric laid their plans for obtaining by 
treachery the success which they could not gain by arms ; 
and Edric undertook to betray King Edmund. In ocm^ 
sequence, by his advice, the king went into Wessex to lead 
a very powerful army against Canute, who, meanwhile, bad 
laid siege to London, which he foriously assaulted bodi bj 
land and water, but the citizens de^ndod it manfully. Tbe 
fifth time S King Edmund i^^sdn fording the river Thames 
at Brentford, went into Kent to give battle to the Danes, 
but at the fiist encounter of the standard-bearers in the van 
of the armies, a terrible panic seized the Danes, and ^ej 
took to flight. Edmund followed them with great slau^ter 
as far as Aylesford, and if he had continued the pursuit, the 
Danish war would have been ended that day. But the 
traitorous counsel of the ealdorman Edric induced him td 
halt. Never had more fatal counsel been given in England. 
The sixth battle was fought between Edmund, at the head 
of a powerful army, and Canute, who had assembled tbe 
whole force of the Danes at Esesdune^. The engagem^rt 
was obstinate and decisive, for both armies stood ^Ma 
^•ound undaimted and despising death. Then tihie young 
Sing Edmimd distinguished himself for his valotir. For 
perceiving that the Danes were %htmg with more ihsm 
ordinary vigour, he quitted his roySl station whida, as was 
wont, he had taken between the dragon and the ensign 
called the Standard, and rushed impetuously on the fore- 
interesting descriptioii of the engftgenient, with auuiy minute ^articidsii.— - 
Antiq. Celto-Scand., p. 180.** 

* The Saxon Chronicle doet not reckon the firft fight at Bcentford^ which 
Appears to have been only a skirmi^, in the nmnfoor of Bdmnnd's battletf, 
80 that it makes this engagement at Brcmtford the fonrth, -vdiilo Hemy «€ 
Huntingdon calls it the iifih. 

Saxon Chronicle, '' Assaa-dan ;** A89ingd<niy in Bssex. 



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A.D. 1016.] EDMUHD IBOKail>E*S BATTLES. 196 

most rank. He feU on it like lightning, "shielding a chosen 
Bword fit for the hand of the royal youth, smd hewing a 
passage throngk liie centre, exposed himself and those who 
followed him to be cat off by the enemy. But he charged 
right on to King Canute's body-guard, when a fearful out- 
cry and horrible shrieks were heard, and the ealdorman 
Edric, seeing that the rout of the Danes was imminent, 
shouted to the Engitsh : " Flet Ekigle, flet Engle, ded is 
Edmund," which means " Mee English, flee English, Ed* 
mund is dead." Thus shouting, he fled with his own troops, 
followed by the whole English army. A dreadful slaughter 
of the Ikiglish was made in this battle ; there feU in it the 
ealdormen Ednod, lafric, and GU)dwin [of Lindsey], and 
Ulfcitel of East-Anglia, and Ailward, son of Ethelsy S the 
ealdorman, and the flower of the English nobility. King 
Canute after tiiis victory took liCModon, and obtained pos- 
session of the regalia of England. The sevaith time, the 
two armies met in Gloucestearshire^ but the great men of 
the realm, fearing on one side the power of Kmg Edmimd, 
and on ihe other that of King Canute, said among them- 
selves, " Why are we such fools as to be so often putting 
our lives in peril? Let those who wish to reign singly 
decide the quarrd by sin^e coml»t"* The proposal wajs 
approved by the kings, for Canute was not wanting in 
courage. Lists were erected in Olney, and the duel of 
the kings began. Thdr spears on both sides were shattered 
against the highly-wrougi^ armour th^ wore, and the affair 
came to be decided by ^ sword. Both nations heard and 
saw with groans and shouts the feaiful clang and the- 

' Some MSS. of the Saxon Chronicle call Jihn Elfirine and Bthdine. 

* Near Deerh«ret, «n the Severn. 

* There is nothing in the Saxon Obitmlde «b«irt tint decision of thr 
fotrrel hj nngle conobat of the Idngi ; the statement there being, that the 
nobles interfered to procure peaoe by an amicable division of the kingdom. 
Eoger of Wendover copies and amplifies Heniy of Huntingdon's details of 
the smgle combat The silence of the Sa»>n Gfanmide is important, yet 
fltill, considering bow much -die duel was in vogue among Oanute's countiT^ 
men, and the character of fidmund Ironside, there is nothing improbable in 
the two kings having adopted this mode of deciding the contest An ex- 
amination of the Icelandic Sagas would probably throw some light on this 
subject. An adventure of so romantic a character could hardJj have es* 
caped the notice of the Scalds and writers of that class^ whose compositions 
were current in the coortt of die Norman king. 

O 2 



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196 HENRY OP HUNTINGDON. [bOOK VI. 

gleaming flash of their arms. But at length the incompara- 
ble strength of Edmund [Ironside] dealt thimder on his 
rival, and Canute, though he defended himself stoutly, 
beginning to quail, cried out, ** Bravest of youths, why 
should either of us risk his life for the sake of a crown ? 
Let us be brothers by adoption, and divide the kingdom, so 
governing that I may rule your affairs, and you mine. Even 
file government of Denmark I submit to your disposal." 
The generous mind of the yoimgking was moved to gentle- 
ness by these words, and the kiss of peace was mutually 
given. The people assenting with tears of joy, the king- 
dom of Wessex was allotted to Edmund, and the kingdom 
of Mercia to Canute, who then returned to London. 

[a.d. 1016.] King Edmund was treasonably slain a few 
days afterwards. Thus it happened : one night, this great 
and powerful king having occasion to retire to the house 
for reheving the calls of nature, the son of the ealdorman 
Edric, by his father's contrivance, concealed himself in the 
pit, and stabbed the king twice from beneath with a sharp 
dagger, and, leaving the weapon j&xed in his bowels, made 
his escape. Edric then presented himself to Canute, and 
saluted him, saying, "Hail! thou who art sole king of 
England !" Having explained what had taken place, Canute 
replied, "For this deed I will exalt you, as it merits, 
higher than all the nobles of England." He then com- 
manded that Edric should be decapitated and his head 
placed upon a pole on the highest battlement of the tower of 
London ^ Thus perished King Edmund L-onside, after a 
short reign of one year, and he was buried at Glastonbiny, 
near his grandfather Edgar. 

[a.d. 1017.] Canute, now king of England, married 
Emma, the daughter of the Duke of Normandy, who was 
before the wife of King Ethebed. He quickly paid to the 
English nobles the just reward of their treason ; for whereas 
he assumed the government of Wessex, while Eric held 
that of Northmnbria, Thurkill of East-Anglia, and Edric of 
Mercia, Edric was put to death, Thm-kill banished, and 
Erie compelled to flee. Moreover, his displeasm'e fell on 
some other nobles of the highest rank : he put to death 

' The Saxon Chronicle sayi nothing of the mode of Edmund'i death. 



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A.D. 1017-24.] BEIGN OF CANUTE. 197 

Norman the ealaorman ; Edwy the Etheling was driven into 
exile; Ethelwold was beheaded; Edwy, king of the Churls \ 
was banished; and Britric was slain. He also levied an 
enormous tax throughout the whole of England, to the 
amount of 73,000Z., besides 11,000Z. paid by the Londoners. 
So severe a task-master did the justice of God inflict on the 
English. 

In the third year of his reign Canute, with an army 
composed both of English and Danes, went over to Den- 
mark to war with the Vandals. He had come up with the 
enemy and was prepared to give battle the day following, 
when Earl Godwin, who commanded the English troops, 
made a night attack on the enemy's camp, without the king's 
knowledge. Taking them by surprise, he made great slaugh- 
ter and entirely routed them. At daybreak the king, 
finding that the EngUsh were gone, supposed that they had 
either taken flight or deserted to the enemy. However, he 
marshalled his own force for the attack, but when he 
reached the camp, he found there only the corpses of the 
slain, blood, and booty. Whereupon he ever afterwards 
held the English in the highest honour, considering them 
not inferior to the Danes. After this he returned to Eng- 
land. About this time, on the death of Archbishop Lyfwing, 
Ethelnoth, his successor, went to Home ; he was accom- 
panied by Leofwine, abbot of Ely, who had been imjustly 
deprived of his abbey, but was now restored by command 
of Pope Benedict. On his return from Kome, the arch- 
bishop caused the body of St. Elphege^ to be translate*' 
from London to Canterbury. 

[a.d. 1024.] In the eighdiyear of Canute's reign, Eichard 
the Second, duke of Normandy, father of Emma, queen of 
England, departed this life. Richard, his son, who suc- 
ceeded him, lived about a year, and then his brother Robert, 

1 " Ceoria cyneg," Saxon Chronicle. None of the translators have offered 
any comment on this singular title. Was Edwj the Eobin Hood of those 
times? 

* The Archbishop of Canterbury, martyred by the Danes A.». 1012. 
The Saxon Chronicle gives an account of the pomp with which his remainf 
were translated from St Paul's Cathedral to Canterbury. St. £lphege*s 
name is retained in our calendars on the 19th of April, the day of his 
martyrdom. 



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198 HENBY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK VI. 

eight years. The year following, the king went into Den- 
mark with English troops against Ulf and Eglaf, who had 
inraded it bodi by sea and land with a great force of the 
Swedish nation. In that war numbers both of the Eng- 
lish and Danes fell on the side of Canute ; and the Swedes 
were victorious. 

Bang Canute, in the twelfth year of his reign, sailed from 
England with 50 ships for Norway, and, having defeated 
Olave \ the Norwegian king, reduced that coimtry to sub- 
jection. On his return to England, Olave endeavouring to 
reinstate himself was slain by the people, and Canute re- 
tained the IdngdcHntiU his death. About this time Bobert« 
king of the Franks^ was succeeded by his son Henry. 

[jLD. 1031.] In the fifteenth year of Canute's reign, Bobert> 
duke of Normandy, died during his pilgrimage to Jeru- 
salem, and was sucoeeded by his son William the bastard, of 
tender i^e : Canis^ also went to Bome^ with great pomp, and 
granted in perpetuity the ahns called *' Bomscot," which his 
predecessors had given to the Eoman Church. No king of 
the western parts displayed so much magnificence in his 
pOgrimi^e to Bome. Who can reckon the alms, and the 
o^^rings, and the costly banquets which the great king 
gave during his pilgrimage? The year he returned he 
went into Scotland, md Malcolm, king of the Scots, paid 
him allegiance, as did also two other kings, Melbeathe and 
Jermarc. 

[ajd. 10S6.] King Canute died at Shaftesbury, after a 
reign of 20 years ^ and was buried at Winchester in the 
old minster. A few particulars oi his grandeur must be 
collected, for before him there was never so great a king of 
Ikigland. He was lord of the whole of Denmark, Ikigland, 
and Norway; as also of Scotland. Besides the various wars 
in which he gained so much glory, his nobleness and 

' St Clave, who first introdaced Cliristianity in Norway, and fell in 
fighting with his headten subjects at the hattle of Stikkelstad, near Drontheim. 
Be was afterwards canonised, and esteemed the patron saint of Norway ; 
and many churches in England were dedicated to him. 

^ '* Canute's journey to Some is placed by Wippo, a oentemporaneoas 
writer, in the year 1027. Ptfrfwita, iii. 472."— P«fm. 

' Tlie date given for Canute's death is ^at of the Saxon Cbroaide. 
Henry of Huntingdon reckons his reign at 20 years ; one MS. of the SazoB 
Chronicle says, " He was king over all England veri/ nigh 20 years." 



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A.D. 1035.] Canute's death and characteb. 100 

greatness of mind were eminentlj displayed on three ooea- 
sions. First, when he married his daughter to the Boman 
€93iperor with an immense dowry. Secondly, when, during 
his journey to Home, he reduced the oppressive tolls^ 
exacted from pilgrims on the roads through France hy the 
red^nption of one-half of t^em at his private expense. 
Tlnrdly, when at the summit of his power, he ordered a 
seat to be placed for him on the sea-shore when the tide was 
coming in; thus seated, he shouted to the flowing sea, 
" Thou, too, art subject to my command, as the Iwid on 
which I am seated is mine ; and no one has ever resisted 
my commands with impunity. I command you, then, not 
to flow over my land, nor presume to wet ihe feet and the 
robe of your lord.** The tide, however, continuing to rise 
as usual, dashed over his feet and legs without respect to 
his royal person. Then the king leaped backwards, saying: 
** Let all men know how empty and worthless is the powar 
of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom 
heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws.** From 
thenceforth King Canute never wore his arown of gold, but 
placed it for a lasting memorial on the image of our Lord 
affixed to a cross, to ti^e hoiiom* of God the sdmighty King : 
through whose mercy may the soul of Canute, the king, en* 
joy everlasting rest*. 

Harold, the son of King Canute, by EMgiva, daughter of 
£yifelin, the ealdorman, was chosen kmg. For there was a 
great council^ held at Oxford, where Earl Leofric and all 
Uie thanes north of the Thames, with the Lcmdoners^ 



" Tolonea rel trayersa,** droits de traverse, — Du Chesvie, Glossar. 

* This story, which is not found in the Saxon Ghroniele, appears to rest 
on the authority of Henry of Huntingdon^ from whose History it was 
adopted by succeeding writex^ The reader's opinion of its authenticity will 
depend upon the degree of credit he is disposed to attadi to Henry of Hun« 
tingdon's statements when they are unsupported by other testimtmy. Those 
who feel unwilling to surrender a very interesting story, which has become 
as fiuniliar to us as " household words," will be pleased to remember that 
our author lived within 60 years of the death of Canute, and expressly 
arers that he collected information of former events from eye-witnesset 
■till living. We have already had an anecdote so obtained of a date 80 
yean earlier than the present one ; see note p. 184. 

» " Witan," Saxon Chronicle. 

« The '< Lithsmen of London/' Saxon Chionide : a Danid term for thf 



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SOO HENRY OP HUNTfNGDON. [BOOK VI, 

chose Harold in order to preserve the kingdom for his 
brother Hardecanute, who was then in Denmark. But 
Earl Godwin, father of Harold, who afterwards became king, 
with the principal thanes of Wessex, opposed the election, 
though to no purpose. But it was resolved that the Queen 
Emma should occupy Winchester with the household of the 
deceased king, and hold all Wessex on behalf of her son 
[Hardecanute], Godwin being the commander of her army. 
However, Harold drove Queen Emma, his stepmother, into 
banishment, and she sought refiige with Baldwin, earl of 
Flanders, who assigned to her the town and castle oi 
Bruges, where she thenceforth dwelt; for Normandy, hjr 
native country, was a royal fief, and William the Duke, 
being a minor, was being brought up at the court of the 
king of the Franks. The year after, Ethelnoth, the Arch- 
bishop of Oanterbuiy, died and was succeeded by Bishop 
Edsy. 

[a.d. 1040.] King Harold died at Oxford, after reigning 
four years and four months. He was buried at Westminster. 
In his time, sixteen ships were found by each of the ports, 
at the rate of eight silver marks [for every steersman % as 
in the time of his father. Hardecanute, the son of King 
Canute and Queen Emma, coming from Denmark, landed 
at Sandwich, and was unanimously chosen king both by the 
EngUsh and Danes. In his second year a tribute was paid 
to the Danish army of 21,089i. ; and^ after that there 
was paid for 32 ships, ll,048i. The same year Edward, 
the son of King Ethelred, came from Normandy to King 
Hardecanute, his [half] brother, for they were both sons 
of Emma, daughter of Duke Eichard. 

Hardecanute was snatched away by a sudden death in the 

freemen of Danish-Norwegian origin and extraction, who appear to have 
been so numerous and powerful in London as to haye turned the scale in 
fiiTonr of the princes of the Danish line. 

1 Henry of Huntingdon omits saying what this pay covered ; certainly 
not the whole equipment or wages of the crew. The Saxon Chronicle says 
it was for the " hamelan," which Petrie and Giles translate rowers. I have 
preferred adopting Ingram's version of '* steersman," supported by Florence 
of Worcester, who renders it " unicuique gubematori" Eight silver marks 
is too much for a common sailor of those days. The mark, a Danish coin, 
was worth in the time of Alfred 1 00 pennies ; afterwards it rose to 160 
pence, or 13«. id., a computation not altogether lost even now. 



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A.D. 1040.] HARDEOANOTE SUCCEEDS HAROLD 201 

flower of his age at Lambeth *, after a short reign of two 
years. He was of aa ingenuous disposition, and treated his 
followers with the profusion of youth. Such was his liberality 
that tables were laid four times a day with royal sumptuous- 
ness for his whole court, preferring that fragments of the 
repast should be removed after those invited were satisfied, 
than that such fragments should be served up for the enter- 
tainment of those who were not invited. In our time it is 
the custom, whether from parsimony, or as they themselves 
say from fastidiousness, for princes to provide only one 
meal a day for their court. Hardecanute was buried in the 
old minster at Winchester, near his father Canute. And 
now the chief men of the English nation, released from the 
tliraldom of the Danes, joyfully dispatched messengers to 
Alfred, the eldest son of King Ethelred, inviting him to 
accept the crown. And he, being English on his father's 
side, and Norman by his mother's, brought with him into 
England many of his mother's Norman kinsmen, as well as 
others of his own age who had been with him in the wars. 
Meanwhile, Godwin, the bold earl and consummate traitor, 
thought within himself that it might be possible to make his 
daughter queen by giving her in marriage to Edward, who was 
the younger and the more simple of the two brothers ; but 
he foresaw that Alfred by reason of his primogeniture and 
his superior ability would disdain such a marriage. God- 
win, therefore, whispered in the ears of the English nobles, 
that Alfred had brought over with him too many Norman 
followers; that he had promised them the lands of the 
English ; that it was not safe for them to allow a bold and 
crafty race to take root among them ; that these foreigners 
must be punished, in order that others might not thereafter 
presume to intrude themselves among the English on the 
strength of their being of kin to the royal race. So the 
Normans who came over with Alfred were seized and 

> One of tbe Sagas of the northern literature mentions Clapham as the 
place of Hardecannte's death, so called from Osgod Olapa, one of his chiefs, 
at whose house the king died suddenly from excess of drinking. The 
Saxon Chronicle, which gives the same account of his death, says that " he 
did nothing royal during his whole reign." Henry of Huntingdon, who dealt 
more favourably with Hardecannte's character than other writers, glosses oyer 
hii gluttony by giving it the colour of a generous hospitality. 



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SOd HXNBT CHT HUNmKSDON. [BOOK TL 

boiond, and, being seated in a rank at Guilford, nine were 
beheaded, and each tenth man only spared. But when the 
wliole, except the tenth part, were slain, the English were 
dissatisfied that so many still survived, and they r^uced the 
number by a seccmd decimation, so that very few indeed 
escaped. They also tock Al&ed prisoner and carried him 
to £^, ^diere they put out his eyes, and he died ^ Th^ 
then sent messengers and hostages into Normandy {ca 
Edward the younger, off^ing to esteblis^ him finnly on the 
throne, but stipulating that he should bring veiy few of the 
Ki»iiians widi him. Edwaid made his appearance accord- 
ingly with a small retinae of Ncnrmans, and he was elected 
king by all the pec^ole, and consecrated at Winchester on 
Ea^r day by Eadsige, the arehbishc^ [of Canterbury]. 
Soon afterwaatds he resigned the primacy on account of his 
infirm health, and consecrated Siward to it in his stead. 
Stigand also was made bishop of East-Anglia. 

[a.d. 1044.] King Edward, under obligation for his king- 
dom to the powerM Earl Godwin, married his daughter 
Edgitha, sister of Harold, who afterwards became king. 
About this time there was so great a famine in England, 
that ^e sester of wheat, which is reckoned a h(»rse4oad, 
was s<^d for five shillingB, and even more. Afterwards 
Stigand, who was bishop in East-Anglia« was made bishop 
of Winchester. And the king banished Sweyn, the son oif 
Earl Godwin, who retired to Baldwin, earl of Flanders, 
and wintered at Bruges. 

In the sixth year of King Edward, a batde was fought at 
Wallsdune between Henry, king of the Freaach, and the 
barons of Normandy, because ihey refused their allegiance 
to William their duke. They were defeated, and William 
banished some of them and punished others in life or limb. 
At that time two Danish chiefe, Lothen and Irling, laiKLed 
at Sandwich, where they collected an immense booty, with 

I The cruel death of Alfred, and the massacre of his Norman followers, is 
assigned to the year 10S6, both by the Saxon Chronicle and Florence of 
Worcester. King Harold was then Hving. Henry of Huntingdon agrees 
with these authorities in making Edward (afterwards King Edward the 
Confessor) come into Eng^d, ▲.». 1040, to the court of his half-brother 
Hardecanute, which cannot be reconciled with his being sent for after 
the death of Alfred, unleas he had left the kingdom in the interval, of which 
there is no account. 



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A.D. 1042-51.] EDWABD THE CON^^SSOB. dOS 

mndi gold and silver, and then going round by sea they 
pillaged Essex also. From thence they sailed for Flanders^ 
where they sold their plunder, and then returned to their 
own country. The following year, Eaai Sweyn returned to 
England to procure the king's pardcMi, but when his brother 
Harold and Eaii Beom prev^oited it, he then had recourse 
to his father Godwin at Pev^isey, and humbly intreating 
him, as also his brothers Harold and Tosti, and Eaii Beom, 
he prevailed with th^n that Beom should accompany him 
to Sandwich to reccnnmend him to the king's fiayoar. Becnrn, 
therefore, having embarked in Sweyn's fleet as a mediates, 
was foully murdered and his body cast forth; but it was 
buried by his friaids at Winchester, near King Oanute, his 
imcle. Sweyn then retun^d to Flanders; but the year 
following he was restored to the king's favour tiirough the 
mediation of his fetther, Godwin. At that time Pope Leo 
held a synod at Varcelli, a;t which Uif, bishop of Dorchester, 
was present; and his episcopal staff would have been 
broken, if he had not paid a great bribe ; for he did not 
know his duty as became a bishop. Eadsige, the arch- 
l^ishop, died, as did also his successor, Siward. 

[a.d. 1051.] Edward, in die tenth year of his reign, made 
Ec^ert, bishop of L<mdon, Ardibishop of Canterbury. It 
was now reported to the king that Godwin, his fiither-in4aw, 
with his sons Sweyn and Harold, were ocoispirmg against 
him. Upon his sunmioning tiiem to appear, and their re- 
fusing to do so imless tiiey received hostages, the king 
bani^ed tbem. Godwin and Sweyn went to Flanders, 
and Harold to Irdand K The king, much exuberated, sent 
away the Queen Emma, and seized her treasure and her 
lands. He granted to Odda the earldoms of Devonshire, 
Somersetshire, and Dorsetshire, and gave the earldom of 
Harold to Algar, son of Earl Lec^c *. 

^ The Saxon Cliroiiicle gives a nutch fuller account than Henry of Him- 
tingdon does of the disturbances created by the turbulent Earl G^win and 
Iris sons. See a.d. 1046 and the aabseqoent yean. 

* When Godwin and hit ions were at the ssenitk ef their power, Godwin 
Imuself held the earldoms of Weisex, of Sussex, and Kent; his son Snreyn 
the earldoms of Oxford, (rloncester, Hereford, Somersetshire, and Berksh re; 
and his son Harold ^ote of Snex, East-Anglia, Huntingdon, and m- 
bridgeshire. 



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304 HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK VI. 

[a.d. 1052.] In the eleventh yesir of Edward's reign, 
Emma the Norman, the mother and wife of kings, sub- 
mitted to the fate common to all. Then came Earl God- 
win and his son Sweyn, with full sails from Flanders to the 
Isle of Wight, which they plundered, as weU as Portland. 
Harold also sailing from Ireland ravaged the country about 
Porlock \ and then joining his father at the Isle of Wight, 
they made descents upon Ness \ and Komney, and Hythe, 
and Folkstone, and Dover, and Sandwich, and Sheppey, 
everywhere collecting ships and taking hostages. A party 
landing at Milton, burnt the royal vill ; but the fleet 
steering by North-mouth [the Nore] towards London, met 
the royal fleet of 60 ships in which the king had embarked. 
A parley ensued, during which hostages were given ; and by 
the counsel of Bishop Stigand, the king and his father-in- 
law were reconciled; the king reinstated him in all his 
possessions and honoiu^, and took again the queen his 
wife ; but Kobert the archbishop and all the Frenchmen, by 
whose advice the king had outlawed the Earl, were banished ; 
and Stigand was made Archbishop of Canterbuiy. About 
this time [a.d. 1064], Siward, the powerful Earl of Nor- 
thumbria, a giant in stature, whose vigour of mind was 
equal to his bodily strength, sent his son on an expedition 
into Scotland. He was slain in the war, and when the 
news reached his father, he inquired: "Was his death- 
wound received before or behind ?" The messengers replied, 
"Before." Then said he, "I greatly rejoice; no other 
death was fitting either for him or me."^ Whereupon, 
Siward led an army into Scotland, and having defeated the 
king and ravaged the whole kingdom, he reduced it to sub- 
jection to himself. 

[a.d. 1053.] In the twelfth year of Edward's reign, when 
the king was at Winchester, where he often resided, and 
was sitting at table, with his father-in-law, Godwin, who had 
conspired against him by his side, the Earl said to him, 

^ A small port on the Bristol Channel, in Somersetshire. ^ Dnngeness. 

' This anecdote of the stout Earl Siward, immortalized by Shakspeare, 
and the subsequent one of the manner in which the Earl himself met his 
death, rest on the authority of Henry of Huntingdon, like others for which 
we are wholly indebted to him. The Saxon Chronicle informs us of Siward's 
expedition into Scotland against the usurper Macbeth. 



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A.D. 1053-7.] DEATHS OF EARLS GODWIN AND SIWARD. 205 

" Sir king, I have been often accused of harbouring traitorous 
designs against you, but as God in heaven is just and true, 
may this morsel of bread choke me, if even in thought I 
have ever been false to you." But God, who is just and 
true, heard the words of the traitor, for the bread stuck in 
his throat and choked him, so that death presently followed, 
the foretaste of the death which is eternal ^ His son 
Harold received a grant of his father's earldom ; and Algar, 
earl of Chester, succeeded to the earldom of Harold. 

In the thirteenth year of King Edward's reign, the barons 
of Normandy fought a battle with the French at the castle 
which is called " Mortmar," in which Ralph, the chamber- 
lain, who commanded the French army, was slain ; and the 
Normans gained the victory. But Henry the French king, 
and William, duke of Normandy, were not present at the 
battle. The year following, the stout Earl Siward being 
seized with dysentery, perceived that his end was approach- 
ing ; upon which he said, " Shame on me that I did not 
die in one of the many battles I have fought, but am re- 
served to die with disgrace the death of a sick cow ! At least 
put on my armour of proof, gird the sword by my side, place 
the helmet on my head, let me have my shield in my left 
hand, and my gold-inlaid battle-axe in my right hand, that 
the bravest of soldiers may die in a soldier's garb." Thus 
he spoke, and when armed according to his desire, he gave 
up the ghost *. As Waltheof, his son, was of tender years, 
the earldom was conferred on Tosti, son of Earl Godwin. 
The same year Algar, earl of Chester, was banished, being 
convicted of treason before the king's coimcil. He took 
refuge with Griffith, king of North Wales, and returning 
with him, they burnt Hereford and the church of St. 
Ethelbert. 

[a.d. 1057.] Afterwards, Edward [Etheling], the son of 
Echnund Ironside, came into England, and he died very 
soon, and was buried in St. Paul's Minster at London. He 

1 This ttory may perhaps be considered more questionable than others 
which rest on Henry of Huntingdon's sole authority. The Smcon Chronicle 
relates that Earl GK>dwin was seized with sudden indisposition and became 
speechless at the king's table, and died a few days afterwards ; but it is 
silent about the circumstances which giro the alleged judicial character to his 
death. * See note, p. 204. 



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906 HEHST OF HUHmNQDOH. [BOOK yi« 

was the fittfaer of Margaret, queen of Scotland, and of Edgar 
fitheling : Margaret was ihe modier of Matilda, queen of 
England, and of Darid^ the aecomplidied king of the SGot& 
At ^at time also died LeoMc, the renowned ^uA of Chests, 
whose wife Godiva, a name meriting endless fame, was of 
distingnished wortli, and fbnnded an abhey at CoyentrT, 
idiich die enridied with immense treasures g£ silver aad 
gold. She also built the ehureh at Stow, under the hill at 
Lincoln ', and many others. The earidom of Chester was 
granted to his son Algar. 

[a.d. 1058.] In the twenty-second year of King Edward^s 
reign, when Philip was king of France, on the death of his 
£Bithar Hemy, WiUiam, duke of Ncnmandy, subjugated 
Maine. Harold crossing the sea to Flanders, was driyen by 
a |toim an the coast of Ponlhieu. The Earl of that pro- 
vince arrested him, and hrought him to William, duke of 
Normandy. Whereupon Harold took a solemn oath to 
William upon the most hoLj relics of saints that he would 
many his daught^, and on the death of King Edward would 
aid his designs upon En^nd. Harold was entertained 
with great honour and received many magnificent gifts. 
However, after his return to England, he was guilty of per- 
jury^. The year following, Harold and his brother Tosti 
made an irruption into Wales; and the people of that country 
were reduced to submission and delivered hostages. After 
that they slew their king Griffith, and brought his head to 
Hardd, who appointed anoth^ king. It happ^ied the 
same year that, in the king*8 palace at Winchester, Tosti 
seized his hrother Harold by the hair in the royal presence, 
and while he was serving the king with wine ; fer it had 
been a source of envy and hatred that the king dsM^wed a 

^ ** Sub promontorio." Bisbop Taimer sayi, " From tbw expression one 
would guess tbat Henry of Huntingdon places Stowe under lincobi Hill, 
Imt it is pretty evident tbat it was in the bisbop's manor by Trent side." 
The priory of Stowe or Man Stowe was aanezed to Bynaham Abbey in Ox- 
fordsbire. 

* Though the SaxoB Gbroniele it aomewbat diffuse in its aooount of the 
acta of Earl €(o4win and bis sens, it contains ne reference at all to Harold^a 
visit to the court of Williaas, duke o^ Normandy, during which this solemn 
renunciation of any claims to the crown of Bnghmd is alleged to have taken 
place. WilHam oc Malmabury gives a detailed account of Harold's ad^ea- 
tures in Normandy. 



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A.1>. 1064-5.] YTOLEKCE OF BABT. 0OiyWIN*8 SONS. W7 

higher regard for Harold, thov^ Tosti was the elder brother, 
"^^^refore in a sudden paroxysm of passion he could not 
rdGrain from this attack on his brother. But the kmg pre- 
dicted that their ruin was at hand, and that the v^igeanee 
<^ the Almighty would be no longer deferred. Such was 
tile CTuelty of these brotibers that when they saw a weDr 
ordered farm, they ordered the owner to be killed in the 
ni^t with his wbole family, and took possession of ^e 
property of the deceased : and these men were the justici- 
airies of the realm ! Tosti departed from the kmg and his 
Inotha: in great anger and went to Hereford, where Harold 
had purveyed large supf^es for the royal use. Thero he 
butdiered all his brother's servants, and inek>sed a head or 
an arm in each of the vessels ccnxtaming wine, mead, ale, 
pi^ent, mulbeny wine, and cider, sen^g a message to 
the king that when he came to his farm he would find 
plenty of salt meat, and that he would bring more with him\ 
For this horrible crime, the kii^ commanded him to be 
banisdied and outlawed. 

[a.d. 1066.] In ihe twenty-fourth year of King Edward^ 
the Northumbrians hearing tiiese accounts expelled Tosti, 
their earl, who had caused much blooddied and ruin among 
them. They slew all his bousdbold, both Danes and Eng- 
lish, and seized his treasures and arms at York, and they 
made Morkar, the son of Earl Al^or, their ead. Then he 
led the Northumbrians, and with theon the men of Lincoln- 
shire, Nottinghamshire, and Derbyshire, as far as North- 
ampt(»i ; and his brother Edwin joined him with the men of 
his earldom and many Welsh. When Ead Harold met 
them, they sent him to the king, with messengers of their 
own, intreating Ihat th^ mi^t have Moikar mc their earL 
This ihe king granted, and commissioned Harold to return 
to Northampton to give them assurance of it. Meanwhile, 
they did not spare that district, burning, slaying, plimdering, 

1 Kr. Petrie remsrki : ** TUi story leems an imnentkm ; k ii eertamlT' 
SBtroe M &r as relates to tbe bamsluaent of Tosti, wbkh took plAce under 
fiur different circumstances ; for this reference majr be made to the life of 
King Edward by an anonymous writer of his own age. The story of the 
CDttiDg off men's heads, &c, seems to be borrowed from a horrid cmelty 
perpetrated by Garadoe, the son of Griffith, related by Florence of Worcei^ 
tcr under the year 1066." — Petrie Monument Britan. 



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908 HENBY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK VT. 

and carrying off with them, after their petition was 
granted, many thousand souls, so that this part of the king- 
dom was impoverished for many years. Tosti and his wife 
fled to the court of Baldwin, in Flanders, and there wintered. 
In the year of our Lord 1066, the Lord, who ruleth all 
things, accomplished what He had long designed with re- 
spect to the English nation ; giving them up to destruction 
by the fierce and crafty race of the Normans. For when 
the church of St. Peter at Westminster had been conse- 
crated on Holy Linocents' day, and soon afterwards King 
Edward departed this life on the eve of Epiphany, and was 
interred in the same church, which he had buUt and en- 
dowed with great possessions, some of the English sought 
to make Edgar Etheling king ; but Harold, relying on his 
power and his pretensions by birth, seized the crown ^. 
Meanwhile, William, duke of Normandy, was inwardly 
irritated and deeply incensed, for three reasons. First, 
because Godwin and his sons had dishonoured and mur- 
dered his kinsman Alfred. Secondly, because they had 
driven out of England Robert the bishop, and Odo the 
earl, and all the other Frenchmen. Thirdly, because 
Harold, committing perjuiy, had usurped the kingdom, 
which by right of relationship belonged to himself. Duke 
William, therefore, assembling the principal men of Nor- 
mandy, called on them to aid him in the conquest of 
England. As they were entering the council chamber, 
William Fitz-Osbert, the Duke's steward, threw himself in 
their way, representing that the expedition to England was 
a very serious undertaking, for the English were a most 
warlike people; and argued vehemently against the very 
few who were disposed to embark in the project of invading 
England. The barons, hearing this, were highly delighted, 
and pledged their faitii to him that they would all concur 
in what he should say. Upon which he presented himself 
at their head before the Dulce, and thus he addressed him : 
" I am ready to follow you devotedly with all my people in 
this expedition." All the great men of Normandy were 
thus pledged to what he promised, and a numerous fleet 

* Florence of Worcester founds Harold's pretensions on the choice of the 
late King Edward : ** Haraldus — quern rex ante suam decessionem regni 
■occessorem elegerat." 



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A.D. 1066.] BATTLE Of STANFORD BRIDOE. 209 

was equipped at the port called St. Valeiy. Upon hearing 
this, the warlike Harold fitted out a fleet to meet that of 
Duke WiUiam. Meanwhile, Earl Tosti entered the Hum- 
ber with 60 ships ; but Earl Edwin came upon him with 
his troops and put him to flight. He escaped to Scotland, 
where he fell in with Harold, king of Norway S with 300 
ships. Tosti wa^ oveijoyed, and tendered him his alle- 
giance. Then they joined their forces and came up the 
Humber, as far as York, near which they were encoim- 
tered by the Earls Edwin and Morcar ; the place where 
the battle was fought is still shown on the south side 
of the city. Here Harold, king of Norway, and Tosti, 
his ally, gained the day. When this intelligence reached 
Harold, king of England, he advanced wiSi a powerful 
army, and came up with the invaders at Stanford Bridge. 
The battle was desperately fought, the armies being en- 
gaged from daybreak to noonday, when, after fierce attacks 
on both sides, the Norwegians were forced to give way 
before the superior nimibers of the EngUsh, but retreated 
in good order. Being driven across the river^, the living 
trampling on the corpses of the slain, they resolutely made 
a firesh stand. Here a single Norwegian, whose name 
ought to have been preserved, took post on a bridge, and 
hewing down more than forty of the EngUsh with a battle- 
axe, his country's weapon, stayed the advance of the whole 
English army till the ninth horn:. At last some one came 
under the bridge in a boat, and thrust a spear into him, 
through the chinks of the flooring. The English having 
gained a passage, King Harold and Tosti were slain ; and 
Sieir whole army were either slaughtered, or, being taken 
prisoners, were burnt ^ 

Harold, king of England, returned to York the same 
day, with great triumph. But while he was at dinner, a 
messenger arrived with the news that William, duke of 
Normandy, had landed on the south coast*, and had built 
a fort at Hastings. The king hastened southwards to 

' Harald Hard-raad, so called to distinguish him from Harald-Har&ger, 
who was contemporary with Alfired the Great. ' The Ouse. 

' The hattle of Stanford Bridge was fought on the eve of St. Matthew, 
20th Septemher, 1066. 

* William landed at Peyensey on Vichaelmas ere of the same year. 

P 



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mo HENBT OF HUKTINOIK>K. [BOOK YU 

oppose him, and drew up his army on level ground in that 
neighbom'hood. Duke William coinmenced the attack 
with five squadrons of his splendid cavaby, a terrible onset; 
but first he addressed them to this effect : '* What I have 
to say to you, ye Normans, the toivest of nations, does 
not spring from any doubt of your valour or uncertamly of 
victory, which never by any chance or obstacle esoa|>e€l 
your efforts. If, indeed, once only you had failed of jcon^ 
quering, it might be necessary to inflame your courage by 
exhortation. But how little does the inherent spirit of 
your race require to be roused! Most valiant of men, 
what availed the power of the Frank king, with all his 
people, from Lorraine to Spain, against Hastings, my 
predecessor ? What he wanted of the territory of France 
he appropriated to himself; what he chose, only, was left 
to the king; what he had, he held during his pleasure; 
when he was satisfied, he relinquished it, and looked for 
something better. Did not RoUo, my ancestor, the founder 
of our nation, with your progenitors, conquer at Paris the 
king of the Franks in the heart of his dominions ; nor 
could he obtain any respite until he humbly offered pos- 
session of the country which from you is called Normandy, 
with the hand of his daughter ? Did not your fathers take 
prisoner the king of the French, and detain him at Eouen 
till he restored Normandy to your Duke Eichard, then a 
boy ; with this stipulation, that in every conference between 
the King of France and the Duke of Normandy, the duke 
should have his sword by his side, while the king should 
not be allowed so much as a dagger ? This concession your 
fathers compelled the great king to submit to, as binding 
for ever. Did not the same duke lead your fathers to 
Mirmande, at the foot of the Alps, and enforce submission 
from the lord of the town, his son-in-law, to his own wife, 
the duke's daughter ? Nor Was it enough to conquer moiv 
tals; for he overcame the devil himself, with whom he 
wrestled, and cast down and boimd him, leaving him a 
shameful spectacle to angels. But why do I go back to 
former times ? When you, in our own time, engaged the 
French at Mortemer, did not the French prefer flight to 
battle, and use their spurs instead of their swords ; while 
— Ralph, the French commander, being slain — you reaped 



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A.D. 1066.] BATTLE OF HASTINGS. Sll 

the fruits of victory, the honour and the spoil, as natural 
results of your wonted success ? Ah ! let any one of the 
English whom our predecessors, both Danes and Nor- 
wegians, have defeat^ in a hundred battles, come for^ 
and show that the race of RoUo ever suffered a defeat from 
ills time until now, and I will submit and retreat. Is it not 
flhameful, then, that a people accustomed to be conquered, 
a people ignorant of the art of war, a people not even in 
possession of arrows, should moke a show of being arrayed 
in order of battle against you, most valiant ? Is it not a 
shame that this King Harold, perjurftd as he was in yom* 
presence, should dare to show his face to you? It is 
a wonder to me that you have been allowed to see those 
who by a horrible crime beheaded your relations and 
Alfred my kinsman, and that their own accursed heads 
are still on their shoulders. Raise, then, your standards, 
my brave men, and set no bounds to your merited rage. 
Let the lightning of your gloiy flash, and the thunders of 
your onset be heard from east to west, and be the avengers 
of the noble blood which has been spilled." 

Duke William had not concluded his harangue, when all 
the squadrons, inflamed with rage, rushed on the enemy 
with indescribable impetuosity, and left the duke speaking 
to himself! Before fiie armies closed for the fight, one 
Taillefer, sportively brandishing swords before Hie Eng- 
lish troops, while they were lost in amazement at his gam- 
bols, slew one of their standard-bearers. A second time 
one of the enemy fell. The third time he was slain himself *. 

' This fierio-comic prelude to the battle is also noticed in the Kormaa- 
French metrical History of Geoffry Gaimar, as well as in a Latin poem on 
the battle of Hastings^ both of which are published in M. Petrie's collection. 
It is also mentioned in Waoe, '' Histoire des Dues de Normandie," p. 214. 
It might be supposed that Taillefer was Duke William's jester ; indeed this 
Latin poem calls him *' Histrio," the Norman ** Joglece." The ktter in 
worth quoting : — 
*' Un des Franceis done se hasta 

^Devant les altres chevalcha. 

Taillefer ert cil apelez, 

JogienB estait, hai^i asses. 

Annes avoit e bon che^al ; 

8iert hardiz e noble vassaL 

Devant les altres cil se mist ; 

Deyant Engleis merveiUes fist 



La lance pris par le tuet 
Gomme si «e fust un bastunet : 
Bncontoemout, halt Ven geta, 
£ par le fer recev^ la. 
Trais fez issi geta sa lance : 
La quarte feiz, mult pr^s s'avance, 
Entre les Engleis la lanca, 
Parmi le cors en un naffira," &c. 

p a 



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212 HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK VI. 

Then the ranks met; a cloud of arrows carried death 
among them; the clang of sword-strokes followed; hel- 
mets gleamed, and weapons clashed. But Harold had 
formed his whole army in close colmnn, making a rampart 
which the Normans could not penetrate. Duke William, 
therefore, commanded his troops to make a feigned retreat. 
In their flight they happened unawares on a deep trench, 
which was treacherously covered, into which numhers feU 
and perished. While the English were engaged in pursuit 
the main body of the Normans broke the centre of the 
enemy's line, which being perceived by those in pursuit 
over the concealed trench, when they were consequently 
recalled most of them fell there. Duke WiUiam also com- 
manded his bowmen not to aim their arrows directly at the 
enemy, but to shoot them in the air, that their cloud might 
spread darkness over the enemy's ranks; this occasioned 
great loss to the EngUsh. Twenty of the bravest knights 
also pledged their troth to each other that they would cut 
through the English troops, and capture the royal ensign 
called The Standard. In this attack the greater part were 
slain ; but the remainder, hewing a way with their swords, 
captured the standard. Meanwhile, a shower of arrows fell 
round King Harold, and he himself was pierced in the eye. 
A crowd of horsemen now burst in, and the king, already 
wounded, was slain. With htm fell Earl Gm-th and Earl 
Leofiic, his brothers. After the defeat of the English 
army, and so great a victory, the Londoners submitted 
peaceably to WiUiam, and he was crowned at Westminster, 
by Aldred, archbishop of York. Thus the hand of the 
Lord brought to pass the change which a remarkable comet 
had foreshadowed in the beginning of the same year ; as it 
was said, " In the year 1066, all England was alarmed by 
a flaming comet." The battle was fought in the month of 
October, on the feast of St. Calixtus [Oct. 14]. King Wil- 
liam afterwards foimded a noble abbey on the spot, which 
obtained the fitting name of Battle Abbey. 
-*• King William crossed the sea the year following, carrying 
with him hostages and much treasure. He came back the 

However, the spirited ballad of Ludwig Uliland represents Taillefer as a 
groom, who for his minstrelsy was knighted by William. See the Poons 
of Ludwig Uhland, translated br Flatt Leipsic^ 1848. 



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A.D. 1067-71.] WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR. 21S 

same year, and divided the land amongst his soldiers. And 
now Edgar the Etheling went into Scotland, with many- 
followers, and his sister Margaret was betrothed to the 
king of die Scots [a.d. 1068]. The king having given the 
earldom of Northmnberland to Earl Kobert, the provincials 
slew him and 900 of his men; upon which Edgar the 
Etheling, with all the people of Northumberland, marched 

^ to York, and the townsmen made peace with him ; but the 

king advancing northward with an army sacked the city, 
and made great slaughter of the rebellious inhabitants, and 
Edgar retired to Scotland. 

fii the third year of King William, the two sons of Sweyn, 
king of Denmark, and his brother. Earl Osbert, sailed up 
the Humber with 300 ships, and were joined by Earl 
Waltheof and Edgar the Etheling. The forces of the 
Danes and English being united, they took York Castle, 
and having slain numbers of the French, they carried off 
their chief men prisoners to their ships, with the treasure 
they had taken, and wintered in the country between the 
Ouse and the Trent. However, the king coming upon 
them drove them out, and reduced the English of fiiat 
province, and Earl Waltheof made his peace with the king. 
The year following, on the death of Baldwin, earl of 
Flanders, whose daughter King William married, he was 
succeeded by his son Amulph, who was supported by 
William, king of England, and Philip, king of France. 
But his brother Kobert, the Frisian, made war upon him 
and slew him, together with WiUiam Fitz-Osbert, be- 
fore-mentioned, and many thousand troops of both the 
kings. 

[A.D. 1071.] In the fifth year of King William, the Earls 
Morcar and Edwin took to plundering in the open country 

^ and the woods ^. Edwin was slfdn by his own followers, 

and Morcar, with Hereward and Bishop Elwine, took refuge 
in Ely. The king came there with an army, and beset it 
both by land and water ; and having constructed a bridge 
and built a fort with great skill, which stands at the pre- 

' " ». e. Threw oflf their allegiance to the Norman usurper, and became 
voluntary outlaws. The habits of these outlaws, or at least of their de- 
. icendants in the next century, are well described in the romance of ' Ivan- 

•r hoe.* "^'Ingram. 



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ftl4 HENRY OF HUNTIWODON. [BOOK VI. 

sent time*, he gained an enti^ance into the island, and took 
prisoners those I have named, except Hereward, who drew 
off his people with great resolution*. The year following, 
the king led an army into Scotland, hoth hy land and sea ; 
and Malcolm, king of the Scots, did him fealty and delivered 
hostages. The next year, the king led an army of En^sh 
and French into Maine, which the English wasted, burning 
the villages and destroying the vineyards, and the province 
submitted to the king. The year after, the king went into 
Normandy, and Edgar the Etheling was reconciled with 
him, and abode some time in his court 

[a.d. 1075.] In the ninth year of King William, Edph, 
who had been made earl of East-Anglia^, conspired yfiih 
Earl Waltheof, and Roger, son of William Fitz-Osbert, ta 
dethrone the king. Earl Ralph had married his sister, at 
whose nuptials Ihe rebellion was contrived. But the prin- 
cipal men of the realm strenuously opposed it ; and Earl 
Ralph, embarking at Norwich, sailed for Denmai-k*. When 
the king came over to England, he threw his kinsman Earl 
Roger into prison, but Earl Waltheof was beheaded at 
Winchester, and he was buried at Croyiand. Of the rest 
who were present at the ill-fated marriage feast, many were 
banished and many deprived of sight. Meanwhile, Earl 
Ralph, accompanied by Canute, son of Sweyn, king of 
Denmark, and Earl Haco, returned to England with a fleet 
of 300 ships, but not daring to attack King William, they 
sailed for Flanders. The same year Queen Edith died, 
and was buried near her husband. King Edward, at West- 
minster. 

[a.d. 1076.] The year following. King William went over 
iSiie sea, and laid siege to Dol ; but the Bretons defended 
the castle stoutly, tifi the King of France came to their 
reHef. Soon afterwards the King of France and King Wil- 
liam came to terms. The King of the Scots, also, ravaged 

* Probably constructed of timber, but it was built less than 40 years be- 
fcre tbis was written. 

' The exploits of this &mou8 outlaw are celebreled in a Gallo-N'onnim- 
poem, printed by Sparke in Caenob. Burg. Hist 

^ The ancient kingdom of East-Anglia was now resolved into the oarl- 
doms of Norfolk and Suffolk. 

^ According to Florence of Worcester and Suneon of Durham, he sailed 
. first to Brittany. 



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iuD. 1076-84.] RKIGN OF WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR. 215 

Northumberland as far as the Tjne, and carried off a great 
number of captives ajid much booty. Eobert, son of King 
William, having raised troops against his faiher,. the king 
was thrown &om Ms horse in an engagement at the castle 
of Gerbervy, in iVance, ^ere also William, the king's son, 
sad mansy of his followers were wounded, and the king 
cursed h^ son Robert. Moreover, the Northumbrians 
treacherously killed Walcher, bishop of Durham, and 100 
men, at a certain court (gemot) peaceably assembled on the 
Tyn^. 

[A.D. 1081.] King William, in the fifteenth year of his 
reign, led an army into Wales, and reduced it to submis- 
sion. Afterwards he threw his brother. Bishop Odo, into 
prison ; his queen, Matilda, also died [a.i>. 1083] ; and the 
king levied a tax of six shillings on every hide of land 
tiiroughout Eng^d. At this time Thurstan, abbot of 
Glastonbury, perpetrated an atrocious crime, causing three 
monks to be skin, though they clung to the altar; and 
eighteen others were wounded, so that the blood raast dowB 
the steps of the sanctuary, on the floor of the church. 

In the eighteenth year of King William's reign, he brou^ 
over such an immense army of Normans, French, and 'Bee- 
tons, that it was a wonder how the land could supply them 
with food. He had heard reports that Canute, king of 
Denmark ^ and Eobert the Frisi^m, earl of Flanders, had 
iormed the design of invading and subduing England ; but 
when, by God's will, the armamcmt was dispersed^, he dis- 
missed the greatest part of his troops to tiieir own coun- 
tries. The king being now all powerful, he sent justiciaries 
through every shire, tilat is, every county of En^and, and 
eaused them to inquire on oath how many hides, tJiat is, 
acres sufficient for one plough hr a year, there were in 
ev^y vill, and how many cattle ; he made them also 
inquire how muich each city, castle, village, viU, river, 
marsh, and wood was worth in yearly rent. All these par- 
ticulars having been written on parchment, the record was 

' " With Clave Kyrre, king of Norway. Vide Antiq. Celto-Scand., p. 
226."— /Ti^mm. 

' By a mutiny in the Danish fleets which ended in the murder of Canute 
after hu return to Dsstauxk, 



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816 HENKY OF HUNTINODON. [BOOK VI. 

brought to the king ^ and deposited in the treasury, where 
it is preserved to this day. The same year [1085], Maurice 
was made bishop of London ; he began the building of the 
great church which is not yet completed*. 

The noble King William, in the nineteenth year of his 
reign, held his court as usual at Gloucester during Christ- 
mas, at Winchester during Easter, and during Whitsuntide 
at London (Westminster), where he knighted his youngest 
son Henry. Afterwards* he received the homage of all the 
principal landowners of England, and received their oaths 
of fealty vnthout regard to those imder whom they held 
their lands. And then the king, having amassed large sums 
of money upon every pretext he could find, just or unjust, 
passed over to Normandy. 

[a.d. 1087.] Li the twenty-first year of the reign of King 
WiUiam, when the Normans had accomplished the righteous 
will of God on the EngUsh nation, and there was now no 
prince of the ancient royal race Hving in Englamd, and all 
the English were brought to a reluctant submission, so 
that it was a disgrace even to be called an Englishman, 
the instrument of Providence in fiilfiUing its designs was 
removed firom the world. God had chosen the Normans 
to humble the English nation, because He perceived that 
they were more fierce than any other people. For their 
character is such tliat when they have so crushed their 
enemies that they can reduce them no lower, they bring 
themselves and their own lands to poverty and waste ; so 
that the Norman lords, when foreign hostilities have 
ceased, as their fierce temper never abates, turn their hos- 
tilities against their own people ; which is apparent, with 
continually increasing distinctness, in Normandy as well as 
in England, in Apulia, Calabria, Sicily, and Antioch, those 
fine counti'ies which the Almighty has subjected to them. 
Li England, at this time, extortionate tolls and most bur- 
thensome taxes were multiplied, and all the great lords 
were so blinded by an inordinate desire of amassmg 

' At Winchester ; whence the Doomsday book is called also " Eotulus," 
or « Liber Wintoniae." 
' The Old St Paul's. » At Salisbury. 



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A.D. 1087.] DEATH AND CHARACTER OF KING WILLIAM. 317 

wealth, that it might be truly said of them, "Whence it 
was got no one asked, but get it they must ; the more they 
talked of right, the more wrong they did." Those whose 
title was justiciaries were the foimtains of all injustice. 
The sheriffs and judges, whose office it was to administer 
the law, were more greedy than thieves and robbers, and 
more violent than the most desperate culprits. The king 
himself, when he had let his lands to farm at the dearest 
rate he could, broke his agreements, and, never satisfied, 
granted them to any one who bid higher, and then to 
another who offered &e highest rent ; nor did he care what 
injiuy his officers infficted on the poor. This year the 
Lord had afflicted England with the two calamities of 
pestilence and famine, so that those who escaped the pes- 
tilence died of hunger. King William had crossed over to 
France the same year, and had ravaged the territories of 
King Philip, and put to death many of his subjects. He 
also burnt a stately castle called Mantes, and destroyed all 
the churches in the town, with much people, and two holy 
hermits were burnt there. Wherefore God in his anger 
visited him on his return with sickness, and afterwards 
with death. We must glance at both the good and evil 
deeds of this powerful king, in order that we may take ex- 
ample from the good and warning from the evil 

William was the most valiant of all the dukes of Nor- 
mandy, the most powerful of all the kings of England, more 
renowned than any of his predecessors. He was wise, but 
crafty ; rich, but covetous ; glorious, but his ambition was 
never satisfied. Though humble to the servants of God, 
he was obdurate to those who withstood him. Earls and 
nobles he threw into prison, bishops and abbots he deprived 
of their possessions : he did not even spare his own brother; 
and no one dared to oppose his will. He wrung thousands 
of gold and silver from his most powerful vasssJs, and 
harassed his subjects with the toil of building castles for 
himself. If any one killed a stag or a wild boar, his eyes 
were put out, and no one presumed to complain. But 
beasts of chace he cherished as if they were his children ; 
so that to form the himting ground of the New Forest he 
caused churches and villages to be destroyed, and, driving 
out the people, made it an habitation for deer. When he 



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318 HENRY OP HUNTINGDON. [BOOK VI. 

laundered his subjects, not urged by his wants, but by 
excessive aMuice, however they might curse him in the 
bitterness of their hearts, he set at noo^t their muttered 
revenge. It behoved every one to si^mit to his will who 
had any regard for his favour, or for his own money or 
lands, or even his life^ 

Alas ! how much is it to be deplored that any man, 
seeing that he is but a worm of the dust, should so swell 
with pride as, forgetful of death, to exalt himself thus abore 
all his fellow-m(»rtals. Normandy was his by n^t of 
inheritance ; Maine he subdued by force of arms ; Brittany 
paid him fealty ; he was monarch of all En^and, so that 
there was not a single hide of land in it of which he had 
not an account of the owner's name and what it was wordi^. 
Scotland he reduced to subjection, and Wales submiimvely 
rendered him allegiance. Yet he so firmly preserved th6 
peace, that a girl laden with gold could pass in safety from 
one end of England to the oUier. Homicide, under what- 
ever pretext, was punished by death ; violent assaults, by 
the loss of limbs. He built the abbey at Battle, which ha^ 
been already mentioned, and one at Caen, in which he was 
buried. His wife, Matilda, also h^\h there a convent few 
nuns, in which she was int^red. May He have m^cy on 
their souls who alone can heal them a^r death ! And you, 
my readers, noting well the virtues and vices of so great a 
man, learn to follow what is good and eschew what is evil, 

' Henry of Hrmtiogdoii, in smnmiDg np the Gonqiieror's chacacter, adi»pta 
mncli tbe same language as that which is found in the Saxon Chronicle. FronL 
hh position in society, and hii living so near die times of which he is now 
speaking, he must have had opportunities of forming opinions of his own, 
-which, dovbtless, coineided with diose tiie expression of which he has thH» 
borrowed. It appears, ficom the language used in the Chronicle, that the. 
character there drawn of William I. was written by one who wai a dosa 
observer of his administration, and had been in his court But he wrote 
anonymously, and probably with no yiew to publicity, while the inde* 
pendent spirit widi which Henry of Huntingdon exhibits the tyranny of 
the Conqueror in thie histery, giren ta the world dncing the reign of hie ssn 
Henry I., a prince equally arbitrary, is, as I h&ve ekewheie taken ocoasio» 
to remark, worthy of commendation. William of Mahnsbury, a writer oil 
nearly the same age, whatever be his general merit, speaks of the Con- 
queror in much more courtly phrase, descants on his liberality to the church, 
ind sums up with attributing to him one only iwU — avarice. 

^ BeCsrring to the fiunout Dooasday Boek. 



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AJ5. 1087.] WILLIAM TKK CONQUEBOB*S WILL. 219^ 

and Uras walk in Hie strai^it path wMch leads to eternal 
life! 

The same year, Ihe Tnfidels in ^ain made a plundering 
incursion on the Christian States, and seized large portions 
of their territory. But the Chrisdan king Alphonso, col- 
lecting forces from the faithful in all parts, recovered his 
dominions, slaying and expelling the Infidels, and repairing 
Hie losses caused by their inroads. In Denmark, cdso, an 
event happened which had never before occurred. The 
Banes were guilty of treason, and faithlessly murdered their 
Mng, Canute, in a monastery. 

WiUiam, king of England, bequeathed Normandy to his 
eldest son Eobert; the kingdom of England to William, 
his second son ; and tbe treasure he had amassed to his 
third acm, Henry, bv means of which, having purchased a. 
part of Normandy from his brother Bdbert, he succeeded 
in depriving him of his dominions ; a thing displeasing to 
God, but the punishment was deferred for a time. William 
divided his facer's treasures, which he found at Winchester, 
according to his bequest. There were in the treasury 
60,000 pounds of silver, besides gold and jewels, and his 
plate and wardrpbe. He distributed part of this we^th, 
giving to some churches ten gold^i marks, to others six, 
and to the church of every viU Eve shillings ; and he sent 
to each coimty 1002., to be given in alms ; likewise, accord- 
ing to his f^Uher's will, aU prisoners were set at liberty. 
The new king hdd his court at London during Christmas. 
There were present Lanfranc, the archbishop [of Canter- 
bury], who had consecrated tiie king ; and Thomas, ardi- 
bishop of York ; together with Maurice, bishop of London ; 
Walchelm, of Winchester ; Godfrey, of Chester ; Wulnoth, 
the holy bishop of Worcester ; William of Thetford, Bo- 
bert of Chester, William of Durham, and Odo» bishop of 
Bayeux, principal justiciary of all England ; as also Bemi, 
bishop of Lincoln, of whom I am led to give a sho»t. 
account 

The king [William I.] had given to Bemi, who was a 
monk of Fecamp, the bisho|»ic of Dorchester, which is 
lituated on the Thmnes. But as that see is larger than 
any other in England, extending from the Thames to the 
Humber, it seemed to the bishop to be inconvenient that 



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220 HENBT OF HUKTINGDON. [BOOK 71. 

his episcopal seat should he placed at the veiy extremity of 
his diocese. It was also unsatisfactory to him that it was 
fixed in a poor town, while there was in the diocese so 
nohle a city as Lincoln, which seemed more worthy to be 
the episcopal seat. He therefore bought some fields on 
the top of the hill, near the castie, the lofty towers of 
which commanded the city ; and on that elevated spot he 
built a cathedral church, which for strength and beauty 
was both fitting for the service of God, and, as the times 
required, impregnable to hostile attacks. The district of 
Lindsey, in which it was placed, had from ancient times 
been claimed as part of the archbishopric of York. But 
Remi, disregarding the archbishop's remonstrances, urged 
forward the work he had undertaken, and when it was com- 
pleted he suppUed it with clerks of approved learning and 
morals. Remi was small in stature, but great in heart ; 
his complexion was dark, but his conduct was clear. He 
was, indeed, on one occasion accused of treason against the 
king, but one of his followers cleared him of the charge by 
the ordeal of red-hot iron, and thus restored him to the 
royal favour unsullied by any stain of disgrace. By this 
founder, at this time, and for these reasons, the modem 
cathedral of the diocese of Lincoln was begun. 

And now the course of events being brought down to my 
own times, it is fitting that I shoilld commence a new Book 
with those that followed. If any recapitulation be required, 
according to my practice hitherto, for the more clear imder- 
standing of what has been set forth in this present Book, 
it may be so short as not to detain the reader. Here, then, 
follows a summary view of the kings' reigns included in the 
Book now brought to an end. 

Ethelbed reigned xxxvii. years, in continual disturbance, 
over the whole extent of England. 

Edmund, the young and the brave, was treacherously 
murdered, after a reign of one year. 

Canute the Great reigned xx. years, with more glory than 
any of his predecessors. 

Harold, his son, reigned iv. years and xvi. weeks. 

Habdecanute, the munificent son of King Canute, was 
cut off by sudden death, after a reign of six months short 
of ii. years. 



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A.D. 1087.] SUCCESSION OF KINGS. 221 

Edward, a pious king, reigned in peace xxiv. years. 

ELuioLD, the perjured, reigned scarcely one year, falling 
a sacrifice to his breach of fiEuth. 

William, the last and the greatest of all that have been 
enumerated, had a glorious reign of xxi. years. It has been 
said of him: — 

" What though, like Oaesar, nature fiul'd 
To give thy brow its fairest grace 1 
Thy bright career a comet hail'd. 
And with its lustre wreath'd thy fiftee.'' 



■f 



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222 HKNBT OF HUKTINODON. [BOOK TfZ. 



BOOK vn. 

Thus far I have treated of matters which I have either 
found recorded by old writers, or have gathered from com- 
mon report ; but now I have to deal wi& events which have 
passed under my own observation, or which have been told 
me by eye-witnesses of them. I have to relate how the 
Almighty alienated both favom: and rank from the Eng- 
lish nation as it deserved, and caused it to cease to be a 
people. It will also appear how He began to afllict the 
Normans themselves, the instruments of his will, with 
various calamities. 

The greater nobles, breaking their oaths of allegiance to 
William the younger, stirred up war against him for the 
purpose of placing his brother Kobert on the throne, and 
each of them revelled in rebellion and tumults within 
his own domains [a.d. 1088]. Odo, bishop of Bayeux, the 
chief governor of England, who was their leader, raised an 
insurrection in Kent ^, where he seized and burnt the vills 
of the king and the archbishop. Koger, earl of Morton, in 
like manner, ravaged the country about Pevensey. Geoffry, 
the bishop [of Coutances], set forth from Bristol and 
pillaged Bath and Berkeley, and the neighbourhood. Koger, 
[earl of Montgomery,] was not slow in beginning the work 
of mischief throughout East-Anglia from his castle at 
Norwich. Hugh [de Grantmesnil] was not backward in 
the counties of Leicester and Northampton. William, 
bishop of Durham, made a similar movement on the bor- 
ders of Scotland. The chief men also of Herefordshire and 
Shropshire, with the Welshmen, burnt and pillaged the 
coimty of Worcester up to the city gates. They were pre- 
paring to assault the cathedral and castle, when Wulstan, 
the venerable bishop, in his deep necessity, implored the 
aid of his greatest friend, even God the Most High ; by 

' The king had granted him the earldom of Kent 



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A.D. 1088.] Wn.T.TAM II. S^ 

whose help, while the bishop lay prostrate in prayer before 
the altar, a small party of soldiers who salUed forth against 
the enemy, was able either to slay or capture 5000^ of 
them, and the rest miraculously took to flight. 

The king, therefore, summoned an assembly of his Eng- 
lish subjects and promised that he would restore the free- 
>dom of chace and of the woods, and that he would conflrm. 
the ancient laws they loved. He then sat down before 
Tunbridge Castle, where Oilbert was in rebellion against 
hiTYi ; but upon being reduced to straits by the royal army, 
he made peace with the king. Marching thence, the Mng 
laid siege to Pevensey Castle, in which were Bishop Odo and 
Earl Koger, and invested it six weeks. Meanwhile Kobert, 
duke of Normandy, hastened to embark for England and 
take advantage of the movement in his favour ; he therefore 
sent forward a body of troops to support his friends, pre- 
paring himself to follow with a powerful army. But the 
English, who guarded the sea, attacked the advanced force, 
and immense numbers of them were either put t<o sword or 
drowned. Whereupon those who were besieged in Pevensey 
Castle, provisions failing them, surrendered it to the king. 
Bishop Odo solemnly swore to depart the realm and deliver 
up his castle at Eochester. But when he came there with 
a party of the king's troops to cause it to be surrendered. 
Earl Eustace and the other great men who were in the city 
seized the king's officers, at the bishop's secret instigation, 
and threw them into prison. Upon hearing this the king 
laid siege to Eochester, which shortly capitulated, and Bishop 
Odo went beyond sea never to return. The king also sent 
an army to Durham and besieged the city : upon its sur- 
render the bishop and many of the rebels were driven into 
banishment. The king distributed the lands of those who 
broke their fealty Among such as continued faithful to 
him. 

The year following [a.d. 1089], Archbishop Lanfranc, the 
enlightened doctor erf the church and the kind father of the 
monks, departed this life ; and there was a great earthquake 
the same year. William the younger, preparing the means 
of taking vengeance on his brother for the injury he had 

' The Saxon Chronicle says five hundred. 



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224 HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. TflOOK TU. 

done him, in the third year of his reign obtained possession 
by bribes of the castles of St. Vallery and Albermarle, from 
whence the knights he placed in garrison began to plunder 
and bum his brother's territory. Following them himself 
the next year, he came to terms with his brother, and it was 
agreed that the castles which the king held in despite of his 
brother should still be his. The kmg also engaged to aid 
him in the recovery of all the places his father possessed 
beyond sea. And it was agreed between them that if either 
of them died without a son, the survivor should be his heir. 
This treaty was guaranteed by the oaths of twelve chief men 
on the king's part, and twelve on the duke's. 

Meanwhile, Msdcolm, king of the Scots, made an irrup 
tion into England for the purpose of plunder, and did 
grievous injury; whereupon the king having returned to 
England, accompanied by his brother, they marched an 
army against the Scots. Upon this Malcohn was greatly 
alarmed, and did homage to the king, taking the oath of 
fealty to him. Duke Kobert remained some time with his 
brother, but finding that he was insincere in his professions 
of amity, he crossed over to his own States. The year fol- 
lowing, the king rebuilt Carlisle, and peopled it with in- 
habitants drawn fi:om the south of England. Bishop Kemi 
also sickened and died just as he had completed the church 
at Lincoln, and was about to consecrate it 

[a.d. 1093.] William, the younger, fell sick at Gloucester 
dining Lent, in the sixth year of his reign. He then gave 
the archbishopric of Canterbuiy to Anselm the abbot [of 
Bee], a holy man, and the bishopric of Lincoln to his chan- 
cellor, Robert Bloet *, who excelled other men in grace of 
person, in serenity of temper, and in courtesy of speech. 
The khig also promised at this time to amend bad laws, and 
protect the Lord's household in peace ; but as soon as he 
got well he repented of his promises, and acted worse than 
before. Regretting that he had not sold the bishopric of 
Lincoln, when the Archbishop of York preferred his claims 
against Bishop Robert for the city of Lincoln and the dis- 
trict of Lindsey, as appertaining to his archiepiscopal see, 

1 Henry of Hnntingdon was brought up from childhood in the family of 
thia bishop. 



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A.D. 1093-5.] AFFAIBS IN SCOTIJ^IO) AND NORMANDY. 226 

the cause was not decided until Kobert became bound to 
the king for 5000Z. to secure the liberties of his church. 
The guilt of simony lay on the king and not on the bishop. 
The same year Malcolm, king of the Scots, making a pre- 
datory inroad into England, was intercepted imawares and 
slain, together with his son Edward, who would have in- 
herited his crown. When Queen Margaret received these 
tidings, her heart was troubled even imto death at her 
double loss; and going to the church she confessed and 
commimicated, and commending herself in prayer to God 
gave up the ghost. The Scots elected Duvenal, Malcolm's 
brother, king; but Duncan, the late king's son, who was 
residing as a hostage in the court of King William, by the 
help of that king drove out Duneval and was received as 
king : the following year the Scots, at the instigation of 
Duneval, treacherously put Duncan to death. 

William the younger, in the seventh year of his reign, 
being provoked that his brother had not observed his oath, 
passed over into Normandy. When the brothers met the 
jurators wha had sworn to the observance of the treaty, laid 
all the blame on the king ; disregarding this he departed in 
a rage, and attacked the castle of Bures, which he took. On 
the other hand, the duke took the castle of Argences, in 
which was an earl of the king's named Koger of Poitou, with 
700 soldiers ; and he afterwards took the castle of Hulme. 
Meanwhile, the king levied 20,000 foot soldiers in England 
to be transported to Normandy, but when they arrived at 
the sea-coast he took from them the allowance they had 
received, which was ten shillings per man, and disbanded 
them . Meanwhile, Duke Kobert, joined by the King of France 
and a large force, was proceeding to lay siege to Eu, where 
King WiQiam lay. However, the intrigues and the bribes 
of King William induced the King of France to abandon the 
enterprise, and thus the whole army dispersed in a cloud of 
darkness, which money had raised. King William had sent 
for his brother Henry, who was at Damfront, to meet him 
in England by Christmas ; whereupon he came to London. 
The king spent Christmas day at Whitsand, from whence 
he sailed to Dover. 

The beginning of the next year [a.d. 1095], he sent his 
brother [Henry] over to Normandy with a large sum of 

Q 



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JKW HENBt OF HUNTINGDOir. [BOOK Til. 

money to be employed in continual inroads on the king's 
behalf. Robert, earl of Northmnberiand, elated at having 
defeated the King of the Scots, refused to attend the king's 
court; whereupon the king marched an army into Nor- 
thumberland, and took prisoners all the earl's principal 
adherents in a fortress called New Castle. He then re- 
duced the castle of Tynemouth, in which was the earFs 
brother. Afterwards he besieged the carl himself in Bam- 
borongh Castle, which being impregnable by assatdt, he 
built a castle against it which he called Malveisin\ in which 
he left part of his army, and retired with the rest. But one 
night the earl escaped, and though pursued by the king's 
troops, got into Tynemouth. There, ^ideavouring to de- 
fend himself, he was wounded and taken, and being 
brought to Windsor, was there kept a prisoner. The castle 
of Bamborough was surrend^ed to the king, and those who 
had joined the eaii were severely treated; for William 
d'Eu had his eyes put out, and Odo, earl of Champagne, 
with many others, was deprived of his lands. 

The same year, the indefatigable king led his army into 
Wales, because the Welsh had slain numbers of the French 
the yefflr before, and stormed the castles of the nobles, and 
carried fire and sword along the borders. The present 
year also they had taken Montgomery Castle, and put all 
who were in it to the sword. The king oveiran the bor- 
ders of Wales, but as he could not penetrate into the fast- 
nesses of the mountains and woods, he retired, having 
accomplished little or nothing. About this time falling 
stars were seen in the heavens in such numbers that they 
could not be coimted. 

In the year 1096 began the great movement towards 
Jerusalem on the preaching of Pope Urban*. Bobert, 

^ " The bad neighbour." 

' The notice of this Orusade in the Saxon Chronicle is confined to a veiy 
brief reference to "Eari Robert's** departure for it a.d. 1096. William df 
Malmsbury's accomt » more circumstantial than Henry of Hunting- 
doB*s, but it does not appear that our historian made use of it From what- 
ever sources Henry of Huntingdon derived his information, this episode, 
which contains a rapid sketch of the progress of the Crasaders from Con- 
stantinople to Jerusalem, keeping in especial view the achievements of the 
Anglo-Norman prince Eobert, appears to be an original composition. It was 
written within about 60 yean after the events it relatesw Henry of Hun- 



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A.D. 1096-7.] THE SECOND CRUSADE. S2T 

duke of Normandy, joining it, gave Normandy in pledge to 
his brother William. There went with him Kobert, duke 
[earl] of Flanders, and Eustace, count of Boulogne. From 
another quarter went also Duke Godfrey ' and Baldwin, 
count de Mont, together with another Baldwin, both of 
whom were aftCTwards kings of Jerusalem. From a third 
quarter went Eaymond, count of Thoulouse, and the Bi- 
shop of Puy. Who would omit Hugh the Great, brother of 
the King of France, and Stephen, coimt de Blois? Who 
would not remember Bohemond^ and his nephew, Tancred ? 
It was the Lord's doing, a wonder unknown to preceding 
ages and reserved for our days, that such different nations, 
so many noble warriors, should leave their splendid pos- 
sessions, their wives and children, and that all with one 
accord should, in contempt of death, direct their steps to 
regions almost unknown. The vastness of the movement 
must be my apology to the reader for a digression from the 
regular course of this History ; for if I were willing to be 
silent concerning this wonderful work of the Lord, my sub- 
ject would compel me to treat of it, as it concerns Kobert, 
the duke of Normandy. 

[a.d. 1097.] Alexius was emperor at Constantinople,, 
when, with his consent, either forced or voluntary, all the 
chiefs above named assembled there, and crossing over the 
narrow arm of the sea, which was anciently called the Hel- 
lespont, but now bears the name of the Strait of St. George, 
proceeded to lay siege to the city of Nice, the capital of 
Komania. Bobert, duke of Normandy, sat down before 
the east gate, and near him was the Earl of Flanders. 
Duke Bohemond took post at the north gate, and Tancred 
near him. At the west gate was posted Godfrey, and next 
to him lay Hugh the Great and Earl Stephen. At the 
south was Eari Eaymond, with the Bishop of Puy. Lnmense: 
multitudes were here assembled from England, Normandy,. 

tingdon does not notice the first Crusade, Iiis subject not requiring him to do 
80. For the Crudes generally, William of Malmsbury may be consulted. 
It is scarcely necessiffy to remind the reader that y«ry interesting ac- 
counts of the third Crusade are contained in a volume of Mr. Bohn's " Aati»> 
quarian Library/' entitled " Chronicles of the Cmaaders." 

* Godfrey of Bouillon. 

^ Son of Bobert Gniscard, prince of Tarentum, 

Q 3 



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228 HENBT OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK VH 

Brittany, Aquitaine, Spain, Provence, Flanders, Denmark, 
Saxony, Germany, Italy, Greece, and other comitries. The 
light of the Sim from the world's creation never shone on 
so splendid an array, so dread, so numerous an assem- 
blage, so many and such valiant chiefs. The siege of 
Troy is not to be named in comparison, nor the heroes 
who caused the fall of Thebes. Here were to be foimd the 
most illustrious men that the western world had given birth 
to in any age ; all bearing the sign of the cross, all the 
bravest of their several countries. 

On Ascension day, at the sound of the trumpets in the 
several camps, a general assault was made on the city. 
Then shouts filled the air, the sky was darkened with 
clouds of arrows, the earth shook witii the stamp of men, 
the water echoed the noise ; the foot of the wall is reached, 
the sappers begin their work. The Infidels plied arrows 
and darts, logs and stones, fragments and masses, fire and 
water, to no purpose ; skill, and valoiu*, and machine-hurled 
missiles were of no avail. And now the powerful army of 
the Saracens appeared in well-ordered ranks, with gleaming 
standards, on the south of the city. They were gallantly 
encoimtered by the troops of Count Eaymond and the 
Bishop of Puy, depending on the divine protection and 
their own bright arms. The Christians rushed on the 
enemy, who, struck with sudden fear, the Lord confoimd- 
ing them, gave way. Great numbers of the fugitives were 
slain, and missiles thrown into the city by machines in- 
creased the alarm of the inhabitants. Thus, beyond mea- 
sure terrified, they surrendered the city to our army ; and 
it was given up to the emperor, according to promise. The 
army was detained before Nice seven weeks and three 
days. Its course was then directed to Antioch; and on 
the third day's march it was divided into two bodies ; at 
the head of one of them were Kobert, duke of Normandy, 
Bohemond, Kichard of the Principality, Tancred, Everard de 
Puisat, Achard de Mont Merloy, and several others. They 
were surrounded by 360,000 Parthians, who are now called 
Turks, Persians, Publicans, Medes, Cilicians, Saracens, 
and Augulans, besides Arabs, of whom there were not 
many. A messenger was dispatched by the chiefs before- 
named to the other part of the army, but meanwhile they 



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A.D. 1097.] BATTLE WITH THE SARACENS. 229 

became fiercely engaged with the enemy. The Turks, 
Persians, and Medes discharged arrows ; the Cilicians and 
the Augulans, javeUns; the Saracens and Arabs used spears; 
and the Publicans, iron maces and swords, all with deadly 
effect, so that the Christians suffered terribly; for their 
horses became imsteady under the strange shouts of the 
Saracens, and the braying of their trumpets, and the beat- 
ing of their tambours, and refused to obey the spm*. Our 
men, also, amidst this confused din, hardly knew what it 
meant. The Christians, therefore, meditated flight, and 
some had begun to turn their backs, when Kobert, duke of 
Normandy, rode up to them, shouting, " Where, soldiers, 
where are you fleeing? The Turkish horses are swifter 
than ours ; flight will not save you, it is better to die here : 
if you think as I do, follow me." As he spoke he charged 
the chief of the Infidels, and with a single thrust of his 
lance pierced through his shield and armom*, and the next 
moment struck down a second and a third of the Saracen 
troops. Then the fierce Tancred, and the valiant Bohe- 
mond, and Kichard of the PrincipaUty, and Kobert de 
Ansa, one of the bravest knights, were not slack in dealing 
furious blows. The Christians regained their courage, and 
the renewed conflict was long and desperate. While it was 
yet raging, Hugh the Great and Aiselm de Kipemont/ 
came up at the top of their speed with only twenty knights ^ 
from the other division of the army. Thus fresh, they 
charged and scattered the weary Infidels ; for the lance of 
Hugh was like the lightning's flash, the sword of Anselm 
like the dividing flame. Two of our princes fell ; while the 
Arabs, with their numbers, filled the places of their slain. 
Of the two princes, William, Tancred's brother, in the act 
of piercing a Saracen chief, received a mortal wound from 
his enemy's lance; while Godfrey de Dm'-mont, as he 
struck off an Arab's head, was shot by a Persian arrow 
through the body, which his heated smrcoat could no longer 
protect. The Franks would have been unable to make a 
further resistance against the dense masses with which 

' This seasonable aid from the advanced guard of Godfrey of Bouillon's 
division is not mentioned by William of Malmesbury, nor in the fuller ac- 
count of this action compiled by Eoger de Wendover. 



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5230 HEIiBT OF HUNTmODON. [BOOK VH. 

they were engaged, when suddenly the standards of the 
other division were seen advancing from a neighbouring 
wood. The battle had now lasted till nine o'clock, aod 
great numbers of the first division had fallal, nor would 
any have escaped if the remainder of the army had not 
oome up. Never afterwards did the Infidels fight so despe- 
rately. Godfrey led the van of the relieving army, with 
the two Baldwins in command on the ri^t ; on the left 
were Eaii Stephen and Osward de Nnlsion. The division 
of Baldwin was followed at some distance by Ooimt B^iy' 
mond and his people; that of Stephen, by Bobert, the 
valiant earl of Flanders^ with his vassals. A cloud o£ 
knights, and an aidless crowd of infantry, were in the rear 
of Godfrey's line ; while the Bishop of Pay showed himself 
on a hill with a resolute force of m^i-at-arms. The Infidels 
were intent on the fight, when, seeing so large a force 
unexpectedly advan<eing, they were terrified, as if ihe very 
heavens were falling upon them, and took to Eight, with 
SoHman their prince. This victory, which, though dearly 
bought, secured immense spoils, was gained on the 1st of 
July. 

Pursuing their plan of marcliing on Antioch, the Chris- 
tian chiefs proceeded by Heraclea to Tarsus, which was 
given up to the noble Eari Baldwin. Adama and Mamistra 
were subjugated by the brave Tancred. The noble Duke 
of Normandy gave a city of the Turks to Simeon ; and 
Eaymond, the powerful count, and Bohemond, the thunder- 
bolt of war, bestowed another city on Peter de Alpibus. 
The Christians then advanced to Oca, which city they took ; 
and Peter de Roussillon took Eufa and several strongholds. 
At length they laid siege to Antioch, the capital of Syria, 
on the 12th of the kalends of November [the 28th of Octo- 
ber]. It having been reported to Bohemond that the 
Tudcs were assembled in numbers at a castle called Areg, 
he led an expedition against them, and by the mercy of 
God, though his troops were few in number, he defeated 
the enemy, bringing back many prisoners, whose heads he 
cut off before the gates of Antioch, to strike terror among 
the citizens. 

The Christians celebrated the festival of the Nativity 
while they lay before the besieged town. After which, 



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A.D. 1098.] SIEGE OF ANTIOCH. 231 

Bohemond and the Count of Flanders marched at the head 
of 20,000 men into the country of the Saracens ; for they 
had assembled numerous forces from Jerusalem, and Da 
mascus, and Aleppo, and other places, for the relief of 
Antioch. Bohemond attacked tins combined force, and 
routed it with great slaughter ; and the chiefs of the expe- 
dition returning to the camp with rich booty were received 
with the triumph they had merited. Meanwhile, those 
who were shut up within the walls made vigorous sallies 
against the besieging army, in which they killed the 
standard-bearer of the Bishop of Puy, with many others. 
In the month of February, the Infidels assembled a large 
force at the bridge over the FerS at the castle of Are&. 
The Christian princes, therefore, leaving the foot soldiers 
to maintain the siege, drew out the knights, and detached 
them against the enemy in six divisions. The first was led 
by the Duke of Normandy; the second by Godfrey, the 
German duke ; the third by the noble Count Raymond ; 
the fourth by Robert, tibe pride of Flanders ; the fifth by 
the most excellent Bishop of Puy ; and the sixth, which 
was the strongest, by Bohemond and Tancred. Battle was 
joined with great bravery, the war-cries reaching to heaven 
and the air being darkened with clouds of arrows, while 
fierce assaults were made on both sides. There shortly 
advanced from the rear a great body of Parthians, who 
made so sharp an onset on the Christian knights that they 
fell back a little. Then Bohemond, the arbiter of war and 
judge of battles, charged with his division, hitherto unen- 
gaged, the centre of the enemy ; and Robert, son of Gerard, 
a good knight and Bohemond 's standard bearer, dashed 
among the Turkish troops, as a lion among lambs, and the 
points of his pennon were for ever fluttering over the heads 
of the Turks. The rest, beholding this, regained tlieir 
coinage, and simultaneously bore down on the enemy. 
Then the Duke of Normandy cut one man down with a 
blow from his sword, which severed head, teeth, neck, and 
shoulders, down to his breast. Duke Godfrey, also, clove 

* Roger of Wendover Bays, "over the Orontes, otherwise called the Fer;** 
but the bridge mentioned in the text is on the Ifrin, not on the Orontes. — 
See Oibbon, xL p. 62. 



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dSd HENEY OF HIJKTINGDON. [bOOK VU 

another in two through the middle of his body, so tliat 
one part fell to the ground, the other was carried by the 
horse he rode through the Turkish troops, to the ten-or of 
all who saw it ; and thus was hurried to everlasting punish- 
ment. The heads of many of the slain were carried to 
Antioch in triumph. This battle was fought in the begin- 
ning of Lent. 

Meanwhile, many of the tribe of the "Amiralii,"^ coming 
from Babylon *, had got into Antioch. Now our army had 
built a fort before the gate where there is a bridge and a 
mosque, and Kaymond and Bohemond had gone to the 
gate of St. Simeon for provisions, when the garrison of the 
town made a desperate sally, and killing many of our men, 
drove the rest before them as far as their camp. The day 
following they attacked Raymond and Bohemond, and put 
to the sword a thousand of their troops ; the chiefs escaped 
by a precipitate retreat. The Franks, enraged at these two 
defeats, drew up their forces in order of batde on the plains 
before the city gates. The Infidels were not slow in draw- 
ing out their troops to meet them. The Christians, raising 
the battle-cry of fiie cross, charged the enemy so furiously 
at the very first onset that they at once gave way and fled 
to the city. But when they reached the narrow bridge, 
nimibers either fell by the sword or were drowned in tiie 
river ; for few were able to pass the bridge, and the stream 
flowed with blood. There twelve of the Amiralii were 
killed, and the Lord gave his people a great victory. The 
day following, when the citizens had buried the dead, oiu* 
soldiers dug up the corpses, and despoiling them of their 
palls, with tiie gold and silver ornaments, they hurled their 
heads over the city walls. 

And now all the hopes and haughtiness of the citizens 
had vanished; for Tancred, carefully guarding the fort 
already mentioned before the city gate, cut off all chance 
of their obtaining supplies of victuals. Then Firouz, one 
of the Amiralii^ of the Turkish nation, with whom Bohe- 

* Henry of Huntingdon appears to have misinterpreted the authority 
from which he obtained his information. See note below. 

^ The Egyptian Babylon, built by Oambyses. 

' It has been conjectured that the ''Amiralii" were not a tribe or a 
family ; but that the Latin writers have thus travestied the Arabian title -of 



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AJ). 1098.] THE CRU8ADEBS BESIEGED IN ANTIOCH. 233 

mond had encouraged an intimacy, foreseeing the fate that 
awaited his friends, delivered to Bohemond those towers 
which were in his power. Accordingly, when flags were 
hoisted on the towers, the Franks broke down the gates 
and burst into the city. . Those of the Turks who made 
any resistance were slaughtered ; others made their escape 
from the city; some got into the upper hold. Axianus^, 
the lord of tiie city, attempting to escape, was made 
prisoner by the Arminians, and his head was brought to 
Bohemond. Antioch was taken on the 3rd of Jime 
[A.D. 1098]. 

Then Corboran, commander-in-chief of the army of the 
Sultan of Persia, with the kings of Damascus and Jeru- 
salem, assembled Turks, Arabs, Saracens, Azimites, Curts, 
Persians, and Augulans, in numbers like the sand of the 
sea, to encompass the Franks. So Antioch was again 
besieged. Corboran posted part of his troops in the higher 
fort, who kept our army in alarm night and day. With the 
rest of his force he blockaded the city, so that no provisions 
could be brought in. On the third day the Christians 
salHed forth against the enemy, thinking that they could 
meet them fairly in the field ; but the number and strength 
of the enemy were such that our people were compelled to 
retreat within the walls, not without great loss from the 
enemy's arms, as well as from the crush at the city gate. 
On the morrow, four of the Christian leaders, William [of 
Grantmesnil] and another WilUam, and Alberic and Lam- 
bert, made their escape secretly to the sea, by the gate of 
St. Simeon, and by their contrivance all the victualling 
ships went with them. Meanwhile, the Franks were so 
galled by the attacks of the garrison in the upper fort, that 
Siey built a wall to shut them in. Hope increased on the 
side of the Infidels, and famine on that of the Christians. 
While they were in expectation of the supplies promised 
by the emperor, a hen was sold for fifteen shillings, an egg 
for two shillings, and a nut for one penny. They cooked 
and ate leaves of trees and thistles, and greedily devoured 

Amen or Emirs. Soger of Wendover fubstitutes Emifer for Firooz, as the 
proper name of this indiyidnal. 

1 It is difficult to discover under this Latinized version the Oriental i 
o^ this lord of Antioch. It hai been given ai Akky-Sian. 



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dS4 HEKBT OF HUNTINaDON. [BOOE YH. 

tile softened hides of horses and asses. Moreover, Stephen, 
count of Chartres, deserting his Mends with unmanly 
weakness, met the emperor advancing, and induced hiyp to 
retire hy telling him with tears that all the Franks had 
perished. The faithful, therefore, were in the utmost 
despair, heing so reduced hy famine that they could not 
even bear the wei^it of their armour. And now a fiery 
light flawed from heaven over the Turkish army, and the 
Lord i^peared in a vision to one of his faithful servants, 
and said, "Carry this message to the children of the 
"West. Behold, I have given the city of Nice into your 
hands, and have covered you in all your battles with the 
Infidels ; and I gave you also the city of Antioch. But 
when you had taken triumphant possession, you committed 
fornication both with the strange women and the Christians, 
so that your ill savour has ascended on high." Then the 
man of God fell at his feet, sa)ring, "Help, Lord, thy 
people in their great affliction." And the Lord answered, 
" I have helped them, and will yet help them. Tell my 
people, that if they return to me, I will return to them ; 
and within five days I myself will be their defender." 
There also appeared a vision of St. Andrew the apostle to 
a certain priest, revealing to him where the spear which 
pierced our Saviour would be found; the truth of which the 
priest confirmed to the people by an oath. 

The Christians, then, jrfter fiastmg for three days, and 
solemn processions, and the celebration of masses and 
giving of alms, with tears and confession of their sins, 
marched against the enemy, the Lord himself being their 
leader. The first rank was commanded by Hugh the 
Great and the Earl of Flanders ; the second by Duke God- 
firey and Baldwin ; the third by Kobert, the brave Norman ; 
the fourth division, under the command of the Bishop of 
Puy and "William of Montpelier, including the foUowers of 
Count Kaymond, was left to guard the city ; the fifth was 
under Tancred and Count Richard ; the sixth was imder 
Bohemond and the Count de Eoussillon ; the seventh, dedi- 
cated to the honour of the Holy Spirit, was under the 
command of Reginald. Meanwhile, the bishops and priests, 
and clerks and monks, in their sacred vestments, were to 
be seen on the battlements chanting litanies to God ; and 



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▲.D. 1008.] THB 8ABACENS DEFEAISD. 2S5 

thei« appeared to them a heavenly host, mounted on white 
horses, and with flaming arms, their leaders being St. 
George, St Mercurius, and St Demetrius. Corboran drew 
ont his countless armj, exulting in antieipated triumph ; 
he also caused large quantities of straw to be set on fire 
upon an opposite hill, that the dense smoke might blind 
the Christian troops ; but the Lord, who rules the dements, 
made the wind to change, so that the Infidels were suffo- 
cated with the smoke, and took to flight. The Christians 
pursued them with great slaughter, and the booty was 
greater than any taken in these wars. Upon seeing this, 
the Amiralian ^ who had the custody of the higher fort sur- 
rendered it, and became a Christian. This, victory the 
Lord wrought on the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, and 
his name only was exalted on that day. The Christians, 
rejoicing, remained in this country until the kalends [the 
let] of November. 

Meanwhile, one of the chiefs named Eaymond Pilet, 
placing himself at the head of some troops, took a castle 
called Thalamania. From thence he marched to a town 
named Marra, which was full of Saracens who came &om 
Alef. The lofidels attacked him, and at first were obliged 
to give way, but, rallying, the Franks were at length de- 
feated with great loss. In the month of November ^ all 
the Christian princes collected their forces to march to 
Jerusalem. The fourth day before the beginning of 
October^ they reached Marra, and having constructed a 
wooden tower on four wheels, with other devices, they took 
the place by assault on Hhe 11th of December. They 
halted there over Christmas, being detained a month and 
four days, and their march to Jerusalem was interrupted 
by the disputes which arose between Bohemond and Eay- 
mond for the possession of Antioch. This delay occasioned 
so great a scarcity of provisions that the Christians were 
compelled to cook and eat portions of the dead bodies of 
the Infidels. Departing on the 14th of January, they took 

1 The EmirY Bee note S, p. 282. 

* Roger de Weodorer says " September," both in regard to this and the 
preceding paragraph. It would appear from the sabsequent dates that Henry 
of Huntingdon is here correct; but for October we must read Decem- 
ber, in the next senteoee. 



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236 HENBT OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK VU. 

two towns, full of all necessaries ; they then took Zaphtdla, 
and next a rich town in the valley of Desem. In the middle 
of February they sat down before the castle of Archis, the 
siege of which detained them three months, and there they 
celebrated the feast of Easter ; and there, also, Anselm de 
Kipemont, a brave knight, was killed by the hurling of a 
stone, as were also William of Picardy, and many others. 
The King of Camela made his peace with the invading 
army. Meanwhile, part of it took Tortosa and Maraclea ; 
but the Emir of Gibel came to terms. They then appeared 
before Tripolis, and slaughtered so many of the citizens 
that all the waters of the city and the very cisterns were 
red with blood. Upon this the Prince of Tripoh gave 
15,000 bezants and 15 valuable horses, releasing also 300 
foreign pilgrims, to induce the Franks to spare Tripoli, 
and Archis which also belonged to him ; they therefore 
passed through his territories by the castle of Bethelon, 
and arrived on Ascension day at a town on the sea-coast 
called Beyrout. From thence they marched to Sidon, 
thence to Tyre, thence to Acre, thence to Caiaphas, and 
reached Csesarea at Whitsuntide. From thence they 
marched to the town of St. George \ and thence to Jeru- 
salem, to which they laid siege on the 8th of the ides of 
June [6th of June, 1099]. The Duke of Normandy took 
post on the north, Count Kobert on the east, Duke God- 
frey and Tancred on the west, and Count Eaymond on the 
south, on Mount Sion. After many assaults, the besiegers 
constructed a very lofty tower of wood; but the Infidels 
having built against it stone forts, our people took down 
the wooden tower, and rebuilt it on another side of the city 
which was less defended. From thence they made their 
last assault, and, mounting the walls with scaling-ladders, 
they stormed the city. Many of the Infidels were slain in 
the court of the Temple. Then the faithful servants of the 
Lord purified the holy city from the abominations of the 
tmbelieving people, and Duke Godfrey of Bouillon was 
created king of Jerusalem. He was succeeded by Baldwin, 
liis valiant brother; and, after him, Baldwin II., their 

' Bamola, where there was a famous church dedicated to this saint 



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.A.D. 1097-8.] WILLIAM n. IN NORMANDY. 287 

nephew, was chosen king. Geoffrey \ diike of Anjou, was 
the next king of Jerusalem, and his son Geoffrey succeeded 
him. They were engaged in numerous and terrible wars, 
and reduced much territory to subjection to the Christians, 
with all the neighbouring towns, except Ascalon, which still 
persists in its impiety^. 

[a.d. 1097.] William the yoimger, in the ninth year of 
his reign ^, was in Normandy, which had been left in pledge 
to him by his brother Robert, on his going to Jerusalem. 
Having disposed of all affairs there at his own will, he 
returned to England on the eve of Easter, landing at 
Arundel. He kept the feast of Whitsuntide, wearing his 
crown, at Windsor; afterwards he undertook an expedition 
into Wales, with a large army, in which hd often routed the 
enemy's forces, but as often lost many of his own in the 
mountain passes. Finding, therefore, that the Welsh were 
better defended by the nature of the country than by their 
prowess in arms, he ordered castles to be built on the 
borders, and returned into England. Archbishop Anselm 
now went abroad, because Sie perverse king suffered 
nothing right to be done in England. The country was 
heavily burthened by taxes without end for building the wall 
roimd the Tower of London and for the works of the royal 
palace at Westminster, besides the rapacity which the king's 
household exercised in the royal progresses, like an invad- 
ing army. At the feast of St. Martin the king crossed over 
to Normandy, having first dispatched Edgar the Etheling 
with an army into Scotland, where he defeated the king, 
Duvenal, in a great battle, and estabhshed his kinsman 
Edgar, the son of King Malcolm, on the throne. A comet 
appeared this year. 

[a.d. 1098.] William the younger spent the eleventh year 
of his reign in Normandy, continually occupied by rebellions 
and hostile encountei-s. Meanwhile, his English subjects 
were oppressed and groxmd down by the most infamous 

* Fulk, not Geoflfrey, earl of Anjou. See note afterwards under the 
year 1128. 

* This was the state of affairs in Palestine at the time Henry of Hun- 
tingdon wrote, a few years before the third Crusade, in which Richard Coeur 
de Lion bore so distinguished a part. 

^ Henry of Huntingdon now returns to the series of English history, 
which he had interrupted to introduce an account of the second Crusade. 



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268 HEHBT OF HUNTIKGDOK. [BOOK YH. 

taxes and exactions. In the summer, blood was seen to 
borst forth from a spring «t Fincbamstead, in Berkshire ; 
and aJfter that the heaivens seemed to be on fire for almost 
the whole of a m^. The same year died Walkehn, 
bishop of Windiester, and Hugh, e«i of Shropshire^, was 
killed by the Irish '. His brother, Robert de Belesme, 
succeeded him. 

William the younger came orer to England in the twelfth 
year of his reign, and kept court for the first time in the 
new palace at Westminster. Upon his entering the hall to 
inspect it, some of his attendants observed that it was large 
enough, others that it was much larger ihaut was necessary; 
to which ihe king replied, that it was not half large enough^; 
a speech fitting a great king, thou^ it was little to his 
credit. Soon afterwards, news was brou^t to him, while 
himting in the New Forest, that his fiunily were besieged 
in Maine. He instantly rode to the coast, and took ship, 
whereupon the sailors said to him, " Wherefore^ great 
king, wiU you hare us put to sea in this riolent storm ? 
Have you no fear of perishing in the waves?" To which 
the king repHed, "I never yet heard of a king who was 
drowned." He had a safe p£isss^e, and on his landing 
gained more honour and glory than be had done before in 
all his life ; for he marched into Maine, and drove out the 
Eaii Elias, and reduced the whole province to subjection ; 
after which he returned to England. That year ihe king 
gave the bi^opric of Durham to Ranulf, his pleader*, or, 

1 Tbe title was ftfterwaid* Earl of ShicwalMay. 

^ The Saxon Chronicle says " by foreign grates in Anglesey;" Florence of 
Worcester, " by the king of Norway and his men.** 

3 Other chroniclers report the king to have added that *' it would only be 
a bed-room in proportion to the palace which he intended to build.*' 

* The Saxon Chronicle calk htm the king's chapkin, who held his eonrtf 
(gemot) over all Engknd. The administration of the law was now and for a 
long period in the hands of ecclesiastics. One of the bishops was generally 
the king's chancellor or justiciary. This Banulf appears to have b^n a sort 
of judge in eyre or of circuit, and a very corrupt one. Ingram qnotes a 
curious notice of him from the Chronicle of Peterborough, published by 
Sparke, typis Bowyer, 1723, which informs m that he wrote a book (now 
lost), "on THE LAWS OP EKffLAND." Ingram says, "He may therefore 
be safely called the father of English kwyers, or at kast law-writers. It 
was probably the foundation of the later works of BractoBy Fleta, Fortescue, 
and others." 



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A.D. 1100.] WILLIAM II. SLAIN. 239 

rather, bis perverter of justice, the instrument of his exaiC- 
tions, which exhausted all England. This year also died 
Osmond, bishop of Salisbury. 

In the year of our Lord 1100, in the thirteenth year of his 
reign, King WilUam*s cruel life was brought to an end by 
an imhappy death. For after holding his court in great 
splendour, according to the custom of his predecessors, at 
Gloucester during Christmas, at Winchester dining Easter, 
and during Whitsuntide at London, he went to hunt in 
the New Forest on the morrow of the kalends [ihe 2nd] of 
August While he was hunting, Walter Tyrrel uninten- 
tionally shot the king with an arrow aimed at a stag. The 
king, who was pierced through the heart, fell dead without 
uttering a word. A short time before, blood had been seen 
to spring from the ground in Berkshire. The king was 
rightly cut off in the midst of his injustice. For he was 
savage beyond all men ; and by the advice of evil counsel- 
lors, and such he always chose, he was false to his subjects, 
and worse to himself; he ruined his neighbours by extor- 
tions', and his own people by continual levies for his 
armies, and endless fines and exaeticms. England could 
not breathe under the burdens laid upon it. For the king's 
• minions seized on and subverted everjrthing ; so that they 
even committed the most violent adulteries wrdi impunity. 
Whatever wickedness existed before was now brought to 
the highest pitch; whatever had no existence before sprung 
up in these times. The impious king, hateful alike to God 
and liie people, on the day that he died held in his own 
hands the archbishopric of Canterbray and the bishoprics 
of Winchester and Salisbury, besides eleven abbeys, which 
were farmed out. In short, whatever was pleasing to God 
was displeasing to this king and his minions ; nor did he 

' " Werra ; " the Anglo-Saxon, Were-gelt ; Capitis estimatio, Dvfresne, 
the fine or penalty paid for homicide, &c., which, by the old Anglo-Saxon 
laws was defined in a gradnated scale according to the rank of the party 
concerned. Henry of Hnntibigdon seems in thw and other instances to apply 
the word " werra " to the fines or " reliefs " payaWe to the king on the re- 
newal of their homage by those holding nnder him, and on other accidents 
of the fendal tenure; but I cannot find any authority for such a use of the 
L word werra in Dufresne or the other Glossaries. It need hardly be remarked, 
that all these dues were, by the tyranny of the Nonnaa kings, made an 
iuatmment of arbitrary exactions. 



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240 HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK VU. 

practise his infamous debauchery in secret, but openly in 
the light of day. He was buried on the morrow at Win- 
chester, and Henry, his brother, was there chosen king; 
and he bestowed the bishopric of Winchester on William 
Giffard. Then, going to London, the king was there con- 
secrated by Maurice, bishop of London, having first pro- 
mised to restore good laws, and to observe the cherished 
customs of the nation. WTien Anselm, the archbishop, 
heard of these events, he returned to England, and soon 
afterwards celebrated the king's nuptials wiQi Maud, dau^- 
ter of Malcolm king of Scotland and Margaret his queen. 
After the city of Jerusalem was taken, as before related, 
and a great victory subsequently gained against the army of 
the emirs of Babylon, Kobert, duke of Normandy, retmned 
to his States in the month of August, and was received by 
all his people with great rejoicings. Thomas, archbishop of 
York, a prelate of great genius and a friend to the Muses, 
was taken from among men. 

King Henry held his court during Christmas at West- 
minster, and during Easter at Winchester. Soon afterwards, 
the great men of &e realm became disaffected towards him 
in consequence of his brother Kobert's claims on the crown, 
which he was preparing to assert at the head of an army. 
The king fitted out a naval armament to prevent his land- 
ing, but part of it went over to the duke, on his arrival. 
He landed at Portsmouth on the 1st of August, and the 
king levied a large army to oppose him. But the great 
men on both sides, being averse to a fratricidal war, 
established peace between them upon the terms that Eobert 
should receive from England 3000 silver marks ^ annually ; 
and that the survivor of the two brothers should be heir to 
the other, dying without issue male. To the performance 
of this treaty, twelve nobles of the highest rank on both 
sides solemnly swore. Kobert then remained peaceably at 
his brother's court till the feast of St. Michael, and Ihen 
returned to his own dominions. Eanulph, the crafty bishop 
of Durham^, who had been thrown into prison by King 
Henry, -at the instance of the " witan " of England, having 

* The silver mark was worth in these times 160 pennies ; and a pound 
weight of silver was coined into 240 pennies. 

2 The corrupt judge and minister of William Rufus, before mentioned. 



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A.D. 1102.] REIGN OF HENRY I. 341 

made his escape from the Tower of London, went over to 
Normandy, and was the means of fomentmg the designs of 
Kobert against his brother. 

King Henry jnstly banished the traitorous and perfidious 
Earl Kobert de Belesme. The king had laid siege to his 
castle of Arundel, but finding it difficult t6 reduce, he built 
forts against it, and then went and besieged Bridgenorth, 
till that castle was smrendered. Robert de Belesme then 
departed to Normandy in great sorrow. At the feast of St. 
Michael, the same year, Anselm, the archbishop, held a 
synod at London, in which he prohibited the English 
priests from living with concubines ^ a thing not before 
forbidden. Some thought it would greatly promote purity ; 
while others saw danger in a strictness which, requiring a 
continence above their strength, might lead them to fall into 
horrible uncleanness, to the great disgrace of their Chris- 
tian profession. In this synod, several abbots, who had 
acquired their preferment by means contrary to the will of 
God, lost them by a sentence conformable to his will. The 
year following, Robert, duke of Normandy, came over to 
England, and by the king's craftiness was induced, for 
various reasons, to release him from his obligation of pay- 
ing the pension of 3000 marks. This year also blood was 
seen to spring forth from a field at Hampstead^, in Berk- 
shire. In the course of the next year, quarrels arose again 
on several accounts between the king and his brother; 
whereupon the king sent some knights over to Normandy, 
who were harboured by the duke's rebellious nobles, and, 
plundering and burning on his territories, did no small 
damage to the duchy. William, earl of Morton^, also, 

* " Uxores," a term commonly applied to either the wives or concubines 
of priests, the former being regarded as no better than the latter. " The 
histories of these times are full of the commotions excited by those priests 
who had either concubines or wives** — Murdochs Mosheim, vol. ii. p. 342, 
Henry of Huntingdon, as the son of an ecclesiastic, speaks with some re- 
serve of the decree of the synod, which, an archdeacon himself, he could not 
directly impugn. See also p. 262. 

^ Finchamstead ? See the year 1098. 

^ This word is always written in Henry of Huntingdon's MSS. Morteuil 
or Moretuil, and generally by the Latin Chroniclers " de Moritono." The 
name was taken from a town in Normandy^ formerly written Moretaine, now 
Mortaigne. 



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243 HENBT OF HXrarOIGDON. [BOOK YH. 

whose possessions were confiscated by the kmg for treason, 
departed to Normandy. He was a man of high character, 
consummate in counsel and energetic in action, so that he 
imposed and inflicted on the royal troops a most oppressive 
ransom ^ This year there appeared four white circles 
round the sun. 

[a.d. 1105.] King Henry, in the fifth year of his reign, 
sailed over to Normandy, to make war on his brother. He 
won Caen by bribery, and Baieux by force, with the aid of 
the Count of Anjou. He took also many other towns ; and 
all the principal men of Normandy submitted to him. 
After this, in the month of August, he returned to Eng* 
land. The year following, the Duke of Normandy came 
amicably to the king at Northampton, entreating to be 
restored to his brotherly favour ; but Providence not per- 
mitting their reconciliation, the duke sailed for Normandy 
in great anger, the king following him before August 
Upon his laying siege to the castle of Tenerchebrai*, the 
Duke of Normandy, having with him Robert de Belesme 
and the Earl of Morton, with all their adherents, advanced 
against him. The king, on his side, was not unprepared ; 
for there were with him almost all the chief men of Nor- 
mandy, and the flower of the forces of England, Anjou, 
and Brittany. The shrill trumpets sounded, and the duke, 
with his few followers, boldly charged the king's numerous 
troops, and, well trained in the wars of Jerusalem, his 
terrible onset repulsed the royal army. WiUiam, earl of 
Morton, also attacking it fi!X>m point to point, threw it into 
confusion. The king and the duke, with great part of 
their troops, fought on foot, that they might make a deter- 
mined stand; but the Breton knights bore down on the 
flank of the duke's force, which, unable to sustain the 
shock, was presently routed. Robert de Belesme, perceiv- 
ing this, saved himself by flight; but Robert, duke of 
Normandy, and William, earl of Morton, were made pri- 
soners. Thus the Lord took vengeance on Duke Robert ; 
because when He had exalted him to great glory in the 
holy wars, he rejected the offer of the kingdom of Jeru- 
salem, preferring a service of ease and sloth in Normaudy 

* " "Werram." See note just before, p. 239. ' Now Tinchebrai. 



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A.D. 1107-8.] BOBEBT, DUKE OF NOBMANDT, PBISONEE. 243 

to serving the Lord zealously in the defence of the holy 
city. The Lord, therefore, condemned him to lasting 
inactivity and perpetual imprisonment On the day of our 
Lord's supper*, two moons appeared in the heavens, one in 
the east and one in the west. 

In the seventh year of King Henry's reign, his enemies 
being now destroyed or reduced to submission, the king 
settled afiBsurs in Normandy at his own wiU and pleasure, 
and then returned to England. His illustrious brother 
Kobert and the Earl of Morton were thrown into dungeons ; 
and then the king, now triumphant and his power undis- 
puted, held his court at Windsor during Easter, which was 
attended by the great nobles both of England and Nor- 
mandy with great reverence and fear. For, before that, 
while he was young, and even after he became king, he 
was held in the greatest contempt. But God, who judges 
fjEir otherwise than the sons of men, who exalteth the hum- 
ble and subdueth the proud, stripped Eobert of the honour 
for which he was everywhere celebrated, and caused the 
name of the despised Henry to be famous throughout the 
world; and the Almighty bestowed on him three gifts — 
wisdom, victory, and wealth, which made him more pros- 
perous than all his predecessors, and he was able to enrich 
aU his adherents. This year died Bishop Maurice, the 
founder of the new church of London ^ and Edgar, king 
of the Scots, who, with the consent of King Henry, was 
succeeded by his brother Alexander. 

[a.d. 1108.] King Henry went over to Normandy in the 
eighth year of his reign, on the decease of Philip, king of 
France, to resist his son Philip, the new king, who de- 
manded an enormous contribution'*. The same year, on 
the death of Gerard, archbishop of York, he was succeeded 
by Thomas. In the course of the year following, there 
came ambassadors, remarkable for their great stature and 

' Haandj Thonday, the day on which the Eucharist was estahlished. 

* St. Paul's Cathedral, burnt to the ground in 1087, and which was now 
beang rebuilt. 

« " Werra," again, see before, pp. 239 and 242. Was it here the tax, fine, 
or "relief due to the new King of France from the Duke of Normandy on 
renewing his homage 1 The Saxon Chronicle says there were "many 
struggles" between the two kings at this time, but we are hidebted to 
Heniy of Huntingd<m for informing us what was the disputed matter. 

B ^ 



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244 HEXRT OF HUNTINGDON. [bOOK VU 

splendid attire, from Hemy, the Eoman emperor^, de- 
manding the Idng's daughter in marriage for their master. 
He received the envoys at London, where he held his court 
during Whitsimtide, with extraordinary magnificence, and 
the betrothal of his daughter to the emperor was confirmed 
by oath. Anselm, the archbishop and Christian philosopher, 
died in Lent. The year following, the nuptials of the 
queen's daughter^ with the emperor were solemnized, to 
speak briefly, with fitting splendour. The king taxed every 
^ hide of land in England three shillings for his daughter's 
marriage**. The same year, the king held his court during 
Whitsuntide at New Windsor, which he had himself built ; 
and he deprived of their estates those who had been traitors 
to him, namely, Phihp de Braiose, William Malet, and 
William Bainard ; but Elias, the count of Maine, who held 
it as a fief under King Henry, was put to death. Upon 
this, the Coimt of Anjou got possession of his daughter, 
with the county of Maine, which he kept against King 
Henry's will. This year a comet made a very unusual 
appearance ; for, rising in the east, when it had mounted in 
the sky it seemed to take a retrograde course. The same 
year, Nicholas, the father of the author of this Book, de- 
parted this life, and was buried, at Lincoln; of hun it is 
said: — 

" Star of the church, that set in gloom. 
Light of the clergy, to the tomb 
Quench'd in its darkness, Lincohi's son. 
The honour'd Nicholas, is gone. 
But the light bursts forth the heart to cheer, 
And the star, seen through the dimming tear, 
Dawns in a brighter hemisphere." 

The writer has inserted this notice in his work, that he 
may obtain firom his readers some equivalent for his in- 

* Henry V. [of Lorraine], emperor of Germany. 

' Matilda, better known to the reader of English history as the Empress 
Maud. Henry the emperor died shortly afterwards, without her having 
any children by him ; and she then married Geoffrey Plantagenet, count of 
Anjou, by whom she had Henry, afterwards king of England. 

^ One of the three especial taxes, to which the kings of England were 
entitled by ancient custom, was this on the marriage of his eldest daughter. 
There was a similar levy on the knighthood of his eldest son. The third 
was due for the king's ransom when he was taken prisoner by the enemy. 



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A.D. 1111-16.] HENRY I. 245 

dustry, so far as they may be disposed, with a feeling of 
pious regard, to join him in the prayer, " May his soul rest 
in peace! Amen."^ 

[a.d. 1111.] In the eleventh year of his reign, King 
Henry went over to Normandy, because the Count of 
Anjou held Maine against his will, and he wasted his terri- 
tories with fire and sword, according to the laws of war. 
Kobert, earl of Flanders, now died, who gained distin- 
guished honour in the Jerusalem expedition, whose me- 
mory wiU remain for ever. He was succeeded by his son 
Baldwin, a yoxmg and valiant prince. The next year the 
king banished fi'om Normandy the Coimt of Evreux and 
William Crispin ; and he took prisoner Kobert de Belesme, 
the great offender mentioned before, and the year following, 
on his return to England, condemned him to imprisonment 
for life at Wareham. In the succeeding year, the king gave 
the archbishopric of Canterbury to Ralph, bishop of Ro- 
chester; and then, also, on the death of Thomas, arch- 
bishop of York, he was succeeded by Thurstan. There 
arose between the two archbishops, IMph and Thurstan, 
a violent controversy, Ralph reftising submission to the 
archbishop of Canterbury, according to ancient custom. 
The cause was often heard before the king, and the subject 
was canvassed at Rome, but no decision has been yet made. 
This year the king led an army into Wales, and die Welsh 
submitted to his will, his power being so overwhelming. 
A bright comet appeared towards the end of May. The 
king crossed over to Normandy, and the next year 
caused all the chief men of the duchy to take the oatJi of 
allegiance to his son William, and afterwards he returned 
to England. 

[a.d. 1116.] King Henry, in the sixteenth year of his 
reign, was present at Christmas at the dedication of the 
church of St. Albans, which was consecrated by Robert, 
the very reverend bishop of Lincoln, on the request of 
Richard, the well-known abbot. When the king crossed 
over the sea to Normandy, at Easter, a violent quarrel 
arose between him and the King of France. This was the 

' This notice does hononr to our historian's filial piety. Nicholas, his 
father, was probably archdeacon of Oxford. See Memoirs of Henry of Hun- 
tingdon in the Pre&ce to this Tolume. 



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fU6 HENRY OF HUHTINGDON. [BOOK Vtl. 

origin of it: Theobald, count of Blois, nephew of King 
Henry, had taken arms against his liege lord the King of 
France, and the King of England had sent troops to his 
aid, to the no small annoyance of the French king. In the 
course of the year following, therefore, King Henry was in 
great difficulty ; for the King of France, and the Count of 
Flanders, and the Count of Anjou had sworn together to 
wrest Normandy from King Henry, and give it to William, 
the son of the late duke. Many, also, of his own nobility 
revolted against the king, much to his detriment. How- 
ever, he was not imprepared, for he had secured the alliance 
of Theobald, already named, and the Count of Brittany, 
The King of France and the Earl of Flanders entereid 
Normandy at the head of an army, but after staying there 
one night, they were struck with panic at the approach of 
King Henry with the troops of England, Normandy, and 
Brittany, and they retreated to their own dominions without 
fighting a battle. This year the English were grievously 
burdened with continual taxes and various exactions occa- 
sioned by the king's wants. There were thunder and 
hailstorms on the kalends [the 1st] of December, and in 
the same months the heavens appeared red, as if they were 
on fire. At the same time there was a great earthquake in 
Lombardy, which threw down, overwhelmed, and destroyed 
churches and towers, stnd houses and men. In the course 
of the year following, the king was grievously troubled by 
the continuance of the warfare of the before-mentioned 
princes, until the valiant Count of Flanders was unfortu- 
nately wounded in a mutiny of his troops at Eu, in Nor- 
mandy, and retired to his own States. Moreover, Eobert, 
earl of Mellent, the greatest politician among all those who 
had dwelt at Jerusalem, and chancellor of King Heniy, 
exhibited his folly in the end ; for when he would neither, 
at the persuasion of the priests, give up the lands which he 
had appropriated, nor make the confession which it was his 
duty to do, he fell away and died, as it were, of inward 
weakness. Well then was it said, "The wisdom of this 
world is fooUshness with God." Then, also. Queen Matilda 
ended her days ; of whose gentleness, and excellence of 
mind it has been said : — 



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A.D. 1118-19.] DEATH OF QUEEN MATILDA. 347 

" UndeceiT'd by fbrtnne'i vil«% 
Calm when sJie withdrew her tmileii 
Mirth and joy were all her fears ; 
Grosses never cost her tears. 
Lady fiiir ! a chastened grace 
Decked with nSodetty thy fttce. 
Qaetn ! yet lowlinesa in thee, 
Temper'd thy great majesty. 
At the earliest dawn of May * 
Entering on an endless day, 
Thou wert wrapt in clouds of Hgitt, 
We were left in darkest night" 

[a.d. 1119.] King Henry, in the fifty-second year after 
the Normans conquered England, and in the nineteenth 
year of his reign, fought a great battle with the King of 
France^. That king placed the first division of his army 
under the command of William, the son of Eobert, King 
Henry's brother, supporting him with the main body of his 
army* On the other side, King Henry posted his [Norman] 
vassals in the first line ; the second, consisting of his 
household troops, he led himself on horseback; in the 
third, he placed his sons, with the main body of infantry. 
At the outset, the first line of the French unhorsed and 
quickly dispersed the Norman knights. It afterwards 
attacked the, division which Henry himself commanded, 
and was itself routed. The troops imder the command of 
the two kings now met, and the battle raged fiercely ; the 
lances were shivered, and they fou^t with swords. At 
this time, William Crispin^ twice struck King Henry on 
the head, and though his helmet was sword-proof, the 
violence of the blow forced it a little into the king's fore- 
head, so that blood gushed forth. The king, however, 
returned the blow on his assailant with such force, that 
though his helmet was impenetrable^ the horse and its 

* Queen Matilda died on the 1st of May, 1118. 

' Henry of Huntingdon omits mentioning in the text of his history where 
the battle was fought, but the verses which follow supply the name at the 
place, Noyon. We are indebted to Henry of Huntingdon for a fiill account 
of this very important and decisive action, of which the Saxon Gbreniele 

S'ves only a slight notice. Indeed, from this time, or shortly afterwards, 
enry of Huntingdon assumes the character of an original historian of 
events contemporary with the period in which he lived. 
' Count of Syrettz. ' 



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248 HBNBT OF HUNTIHODON. [BOOK Vll. 

rider were struck to the ground, and the knight was pre 
sently taken prisoner in the king's presence. Meanwhile, 
the infantiy, with whom the king's sons were posted, not 
being yet engaged, but waiting for the signal, levelled their 
^ears, and charged the enemy. Upon which the French 
were suddenly daunted, and broke their ranks, and fled. 
King Henry, thus victorious, remained on the field until 
all file nobles of the defeated araiy were taken prisoners 
and brought before him. He then retiuned to Eouen, 
while the bells were ringing, and the clergy were chant- 
ing hymns of thanksgiving to the Lord God of hosts. 
This glorious victory has been thus celebrated in heroic 
verse: — 

" Where Noyon's tow'rs rise o*er the plain. 
And Oiie flows onward to the Seine, 
Two banner'd hotU in ranks advance : 
Here, Lewis leads the powers of France; 
Henry of Bngland, there, commands 
His Bnglish and his Norman bandiT* 
See his arm the foremost crush. 
The island spearmen onward rash ; 
While the bold chivalry of France 
Becoils before the Norman lance ; 
And mattered oaths reveal their shame, 
As they carse the conqueror's name. 
So distant ages long shall tell 
Of gallant Henry, first to quell 
On his own soil the Frenchman's pride, 
Where Noyon's field with blood was dyed ; 
And conq'ring England's mighty son 
The spoils and laurell'd trophies won." 

The same year. Pope Gelasius died, and was buried at 
Cluny. Then Guy, archbishop of Vienna, was elected 
pope, and took the name of Calixtus. He held a council 
at Kheims, from whence he journeyed to Gisors to meet 
King Henry, and the great pope and great king conferred 
together. Baldwin, comit of Flanders, died of Qie wounds 
which he received in Normandy, and was succeeded by his 
kinsman Chai'les, son of Canute, king of Benmark. 

In the year of our Lord 1120, all his enemies being sub- 
dued, and peace restored in France, King Henry came over 
to England. But in the passage, the .king's two sons, 



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A.D. 1120-1.] SmPWBEOE OF HENRY I.'s SONS. 249 

William and Kichard, and his daughter and niece, with the 
Earl of Chester, and many nobles, were shipwrecked, he- 
sides the king's butlers, stewards, and bakers, all or most 
of whom were said to have been tainted with the sin of 
sodomy. Behold the terrible vengeance of God ! SucWen — 
deaffir^wallowed them up unshriven, though there was 
no wind and the sea was calm. Of whom the poet thus 
wrote- — 

" When England's chiefs, with joyous boasts. 
Exulting sought her sea-girt coasts. 
The French chastis'd, the Normans quelled ; 
Homeward their prosperous course they held, 
And o'er the tranquil straits they steePd, 
While yet no adverse sign appear'd ; 
Th' horizon lowering suddenly. 
By the Almighty's stem decree. 
The bark which bore a royal freight 
Was tempest torn ; and, woful fate I 
Henry's brave sons and daughter fair. 
With Bnglaod's chiefest, perish'd there, 
(Where now was mirth and revelry?) 
Engnlph'd beneath the raging sea." 

[a.d. 1121.] King Henry spent Christmas at Bramton, 
with Theobald, coimt de Blois. After that he married at 
Windsor, Alice, daughter of the Duke of Louvain, on accoimt 
of her beauty. At Easter he was at Berkeley ; and at Whit- 
suntide, he and the new queen wore their crowns at Lon- 
don. In the summer, he led an army into Wales, and the 
Welsh came humbly to meet him, and agreed to all which 
his royal pleasure required. At Christmas, such a violent 
wind as has scarcely ever been known not only blew down 
houses, but towers built with masonry. 

An elegy written in praise of the queen's beauty : — 

" Why, royal Alice, does the Muse 
To aid my song of thee refuse 1 
What if thy radiant charms amaze. 
And we, in awe and silence, gaze ! 

" Not dazzl'd by thy diadem. 
And fiiany a sparkling precious gem. 
We veil our sight in mute surprise, 
But 'neath* the lustre of thy eyes. 



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^0 HSNKT OF nXJVTJXQMm. [BOOK VU. 

" All aids of ornament are acOTn'd, 
When €barmi are Irighteat unadom'd ; 
But nature stamped her cHoicett grace 
On thy fair form and beaming face. 

" Thengli poor my lay, yet still I tnre 
You'll reckon me your humb^t slaTe.** 

[A.D. 1122.] The year following, King Henry spent 
Christmas at Noi-wich, Easter at Northampton, and Whit- 
suntide at Windsor. From thence he went to London and 
into Kent, and afterwards he made a {nrogress through 
Northumberland to Duriiam. That year died Ralph, arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, aad John, bishop of Bath. The 
next year the king spent Christmas at Dunstable, and 
from tiience went to Berkhampstead. There the Almighty 
showed forth his righteous judgments in a remai'kable 
manner. There was a certain chancellor of the king's, 
named Ralph, who had laboured under an infirmity of 
body for twenty years, but was constantly in coxnl^ more 
ready for any roguery than younger men, oppressing the 
innocent, and robbing many of their inheritance, while he 
boasted that, though his body was feeble, his mind was 
vigorous. This man, having to entertain the king, was 
conducting him to his house, when, on reaching the summit 
of a hill from which the mansion could be seen, he was so 
elated that he fell from his horse, and a monk rode over 
him\ so that he received such bruises that he died a few 
days afterwards. What a fall had this man's pride when 
God willed it ! From thence the king went to Woodstock, 
that delightful place, which was both a royal residence and 
a preserve of beasts of chase. Robert, bishop of Lincoln, 
died while he was there with the king^, whose epitaph runs 
thus : — 

1 Another account relates that it was a monk o£ Si Albans, whose lands 
he had unjustly seized. — Roffcr of Wendover, 

^ Robert de Bloet, the author's patron, already mentioned, see p. 224. 
The circumstances of his death are thus related in Henry of Huntingdon's 
Book, " De Contemptu Mundi ; " and nearly in the same words in the Saxon 
Chronicle : " The king was riding in his deer-park, and Bx)ger, bishop of 
Salisbury, was on one side of him, and Robert Bloet, bishop of Lincoln, on 
the other ; and they rode there talking. Then the Bishop of Lincoln sank 



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A.D. 1128.] EEraJLPH OF BIBHOP BLOET. 361 

" Immortal bonoor and enduring £Eune 
Deck Eobert's, best of bisbops, reTeiend name. 
Wealth, union rare ! with lowlineu be join'd. 
And pow'r with bmnble piety combin'd. ^ 

Patient amidst the adverse strokes of fete, 
A judge, to sinners eVn, compassionate ; 
His flo(i ne'er found bim an imperious lord, 
Tbey bow'd submissive to their &tber^s word; 
His purpose them, with sympathizing care. 
To shield from evil, or their sorrows share. 
The tenth of Jan'ry clos'd this fiilse world's dreams. 
And saw him wake to truth's eternal beams." 

Afterwards, at the feast of the Purification, tiie king gave 
the archbishopric of Caaterbuiy to "William of Curboil, 
prior of Chick*. During Easter, he was at Winchester, 
where he gave the bishopric of Lincoln to Alexander, an 
excellent man, vfho was nephew to Roger, bishop of SaUs- 
bury'*. Roger was justiciary of all England, and second 
only to the king. The king also gave the bishopric of 
Batfi to Godfrey, the queen's chaplain. About ^^^itsun- 
tide he crossed the sea. Robert, earl of Mellent, had 
revolted fi-om him after a public quarrel; and the kiiig 
besieged and took his castle of Pont^Audemer. The next 
year, the king had a glorious trixunph; for William de 
Tankerville, his chamberlain, fought a pitched battle with 
the Earl of Mellent, in which he took prisoners the Earl of 
Mellent and Hugh de Montfort, his brother-in-law, and 
Hugh, the son of Gervase, and delivered them to the king, 
who committed them to close custody. The same year 
died Teulf, bishop of Worcester, and Emulf, bishop of 
Rochester. The year following the king was in Normandy, 

down and said to the king, ' My lord king, I am dying !' And the king 
alighted from his horse, and took him between bis arms, and bade them bear 
bim to his inn, and he soon lay there dead ; and they took his body with 
much pomp to Lincoln and buried him before St Mar/s altar." 

' " St. Osythe, in Essex, a priory rebuilt A.i>. 1118 for canons of the Au- 
gustine order, of which there are considerable remains." — Ingram. 

* So in the text of Henry of Huntingdon, though Ingram says that the 
use of this name (in the Saxon Chronicle) " may appear rather an anticipa- 
tion of the modem [title of the] see of Salisbury, which was not then in 
existence, the borough of Old Sarum, or Sares-berie, being then the episco- 
pal seat ; but as ' Sarum ' is a barbarous and unauthorized corruption of 
'Sorbiodunum ' or ' Sai*down,' that appellation would be equally improper." 



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d5d . HENBY OF HTTNinfODON. [BOOK Vn. 

and while there he gave the bishopric of Worcester to 
Simeon, the queen^s chaplain, and the bishopric of Chi- 
chester to Sifrid, abbot of Glastonbury. Moreover, Wil- 
liam, the archbishop, gave the bishopric of Eochester to 
John, his archdeacon. At Easter, John of OremaS cardinal 
of Home, came into England, and visited all the bishoprics 
and abbeys, not without having many gifts made him. At 
the feast of the nativity of St. Mary he held a synod at 
London. Now as Moses, God*s scribe, records in Holy 
Writ the sins as well as the virtues even of his own an- 
cestors, for instance, the incest of Lot, the wickedness of 
Keuben, the treacherous murders of Simeon and Levi, and 
the cruelty of Joseph's brothers, it is fit that I should con- 
form to the true rules of history in speaking of the evil as 
well as the good. If in so doing I shall give oflfence to any 
Eoman, even though he be a prelate, let him hold his 
peace, lest he should be thought to be a disciple of John 
of Crema. This cardinal, who in the council bitterly in- 
veighed against the concubines of priests, saying that it 
was a great scandal that they should rise from the side of a 
harlot to make Christ's body, was the same night surprised 
in company with a prostitute, though he had that very day 
consecrated the host. The fact was so notorious that it 
could not be denied, and it is not proper tliat it should be 
concealed. The high honour with which the cardinal had 
been everywhere received was now converted to disgrace, 
and, by the judgment of God, he turned his steps home- 
wards in confusion and dishonour ^. The same year died 
the Emperor Heruy, who was son-in-law of King Henry. 
The severity which the king exercised towards offenders is 
worth mentioning ; for he caused almost all the moneyers 
of England to be mutilated of certain members, and their 
hands to be struck off because they surreptitiously debased 
the coinage. It was the year of greatest scarcity in om' 
times ; a horse-load of com was sold for six shillings. This 

* Cremona? Bnt there if a town called 0«ma, in the Bolognese. 

' The cardinal's visitation is mentioned in the Saxon Chronicle, but we 
are indebted to Henry of Huntingdon for the bit of scandal with which his 
own account of it closes. Our archdeacon evidently enjoys the story, though 
he thought it necessary to introduce it with an apology. 



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A.D. 1125-6.] ALEXANDER, BISHOP OP LINCOLN. 26S 

year, Wflliam, archbishop of Canterbury, and Thurstan, 
archbishop of York, and Alexander, bisdiop of Lincohi\ 
journeyed to Borne. Bishop Alexander's noble Uberality 
and enduring reputation have been celebrated in heroic 
verse : — 

** Illustrious Alexander, thj great name 

Centres not in thyself alone its fame ; 

Widely diffos'd, thy nobleness of mind 
- Sheds its bright lostre over human kind. 

Not for himself of wealth he gathers store ; 

The prelate gathers but to give the more ; 

Freely he gives, anticipating prayVs, 

Counting the people's wealth not his, but theirs. 

The glory of his see, his clergy's pride. 
His people's kind director, teacher, guide ; 
His yoke is light, love is with pow^r combin'd. 
And liberty with decent order join'd. 
His doctrines mild are drawn from holy writ, 
His converse season'd with a modest wit. 
Long may he Lincoln's noble temple grace. 
And higher raise her proud and ancient race ! " 

[a.d. 1126.] In the twenty-sixth year of his reign, King 
Henry spent Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide in Nor- 
mandy, where he procured the ratification of the covenants 
of his ^eat vassals in a manner befitting so powerful a 
king^. Betuming to England, he brought with him his 
daughter the empress, the widow of the great prince before 
mentioned. Bobert, bishop of Chester^, now died. The 
year following, the king held his court during Christmas at 
Windsor, from whence he proceeded to London. During 

' To whom Henry of Huntingdon dedicated this History. It is supposed 
that our author accompanied his patron to Bome. 

^ The sense is very obscurely expressed, and there is nothing of the sort 
in the Saxon Chronicle under this year ; but as it appears that the Empress 
Maud had now returned to her father after the emperor's death, Henry of 
Huntingdon probably means that the king obtained from his Norman barons 
an acknowledgment of the fealty due to her as his heir apparent ; more 
especially as we find him taking the same course with the "head men of 
England, both clergy and laity," the year following. — See Sax. Chron, 

* The present bishopric of Chester was one of the new sees founded after 
the Reformation ; but the seat of the bishopric of Lichfield was removed in 
1076 to Chester, and the bishops of Lichfield, who for a short time sat 
there, are sometimes styled bishops of Chester. 



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264 HENRT OF HUNTINGDON [BOOK YII. 

Lent and Easter he was at Woodstock. While he was 
there he received this message : " Charles, earl of Flanders, 
your dearest friend, has heen treacherously assassinated 
by his nobles in a church at Bruges ; and the King of 
IVance has bestowed the earldom of Flanders on your 
nephew and enemy, William; whose power being esta- 
blished he has revenged the death of Charles by subjecting 
his murderers to various kinds of torture." Upon hearing 
this the king was in great trouble, and held a council at 
London during the Rogation days ; and WilUam, archbishop 
of Canterbury, was there also at his vill in Westminster. 
When the long went to Winchester at Whitsuntide, he 
sent his daughter to Normandy, to be married to the son 
of the Earl of Anjou^, and the king himself followed her in 
the month of August. Richard, bishop of London, having 
died, the king conferred the bishopric on Gilbert, a man of 
imiversal learning, Richard, bishop of Hereford, also now 
died. 

[a.d. 1128.] Heniy, the wise king, spent the whole of the 
next yeai' in Normandy, and made a hostile incursion into 
France, because the French king supported his nephew and 
enemy. He encamped eight days at Epemon as securely 
as if he had been in his own dominions, and compelled 
King Lewis to withdraw his succour from the Earl of 
Flanders. While King Henry abode there he made in- 
quiries concerning the origin and progress of the reign of 
the Franks ; upon which some one present, who was not 
ill-informed, thus replied: "Dread king, the Franks, like 
most European nations, sprung from the Trojans. For 
Antenor and his followers, becoming fugitives after the fall 
of Troy, founded a city on the borders of Pannonia, called 
Sicambria. After the death of Antenor, these people set 
up two of their chiefs as governors, whose names were 
Tm-got and Franction, from whom the Franks derived 
their name. After their deaths, Marcomirus was elected; 
he was the father of Pharamond, the first king of the 
Franks. King Pharamond was the father of Clovis the 
Long-haired, from whence the Frank kings were called 

> The Empress Matilda now contracted a second marriage with GteoSrej, 
eldest son of Fulk, count of Anjon. 



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A.D. 1128.] THE KIKOB OF THE FRAMES. 255 

* long-haired.' On the death of Clovis he was succeeded 
by Merove, from whom the Frank kings were called Me- 
rovingians. Merove begat Childeric; Childeric, Clovis, 
who was baptized by St. Kemi ; Clovis, Clothaire ; Clo- 
thaire, Chilperic ; Chilpeiic, Clothaire 11. ; Clothaire XL 
begat Dagobert, a king of great renown and much beloved ; 
Dagobert begat Clovis [II.] ; Clovis had three sons by his 
pious queen Bathilde, viz. Clothaire, Childeric, and Theo- 
doric; King Theodoric begat Childebert; Childebert, Da- 
gobert [II.?]; Dagobert, Theodoric [11.?]; Theodoric, 
Clothaire [in. ?], the last king of this line. Hilderic, the 
next king, received the tonsure, and was shut up in a 
monastery. In another line, Osbert was the fatiier of 
Arnold, by a daughter of King Clothaire ; Arnold begat St. 
Amulf, who was afterwards bishop of Metz; St. Amulf, 
Anchises ; Anchises, Pepin, the mayor of the palace ; Pepin, 
Charles Martel; Charles, King Pepin ; King Pepin, Charles 
the Great, the emperor, a bright star, which eclipsed the 
• lustre of all his predecessors and all his posterity ; Charles 
begat Lewis the emperor ; Lewis the emperor, Charles the 
B£dd ; Charles, King Lewis, father of Charles the Simple ; 
Charles the Simple, Lewis [II.]; Lewis, Lothaire; Lo- 
thaire, Lewis, the last king of this line. On the death of 
Lewis, the Frank nobles chose for their king, Hugh, who 
was son of Hugh the Great. Hugh begat the pious King 
Robert. Robert had three sons, Hugh, the beloved duke ; 
Henry, a most clement king; and Robert, duke of Bur- 
gundy. Henry begat King Philip, who ultimately became 
a monk, and Hugh the Great, who in the holy wars joined 
the other princes of Europe, and rescued Jerusalem from 
the Infidels, in the year of our Lord 1095. Philip was the 
father of Lewis, the king at present reigning. If he trod 
in the footsteps of his warlike ancestors, you, O king, would 
not now be so safe within his dominions." After this, King 
Henry withdrew into Normandy. And now, by the king's 
intrigues, a certain duke named Theodoric^ came from out 
of Germany, having with him some Flemish nobles, and 
set up lalse pretensions to the possession of Flanders. 
William, the earii of Flanders, assembled troops, and 

' Landgrave of Alsace. 



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266 HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK VII 

marched to oppose him. The battle was fought with great 
bravery. Earl William supplied his inferiority in numbers 
by his irresistible valour. His armour all stained with the 
enemy's blood, his flaming sword hewed down the hostile 
ranks ; and, imable to withstand the terrible force of his 
youthful arm, they fled in consternation. The victorious 
earl shut up the enemy in their camp S which would have 
been surrendered on the morrow, but he received a slight 
wound in the hand, of which, by the will of God, he died, 
just as he had completed the destruction of the invaders. 
The noble youth, short as his life was, earned immortal 
renown ; the poet Walo thus speaks of him : — 

" Let stars a bright star, from its orbit torn. 
And Deities, a god-like hero mourn ! 
Can they be mortal? See the Gfod of war, 
A prodigy, fiill lifeless from his car. 
'Tis one, at least, divinity inspires, 
Filling his manly soul with martial fires. 
Dauntless he turns to flight from no attack ; 
No winged arrows pierce him in the back ; 
Onward he rushes with the storm of war, 
His foes, with wonder startled from a&r. 
As from the clouds receive the coming crash, 
Himself the thunder's bolt, the lightning's flash. 

In Normandy his infiint cradle stood. 

And Flanders raised his tomb beside her oozy flood ; 

One saw him rise in smiles, the other set in blood." 

The same year, Hugh Paganus, master of the order of 
the Knights Templars of Jerusalem, visited England. On 
his retmn he was accompanied by many nobles, among 
whom was Geoflfrey*, duke [count] of Anjou, afterwards 
king of Jerusalem. Randulph Flambard, bishop of Dur- 
ham, and WiUiam Giffiard, bishop of Winchester, died the 
same year. 

1 The Saxon Chronicle is silent as to the German invasion, but says that 
the earl died in war with his uncle King Henry, being wounded in battle by 
a servant, of which he died, after being received at the monastery of St 
Bertin,. where he became a monk four days before his death. Roger of 
Wendover agrees with Henry of Huntingdon, only that he says the earl was 
besieging £u against King Henry when he was wounded and died. 

* It was Fulk, count of Anjou, who took the cross and went to Jerusa- 
lem, relinquishing his county to his son Geoflrey, who married the Empress 
Maud. 



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A.D. 1129.] BEIGN OF HENRY I. 257 

The year following [a.d. 1129], Lewis, king of France, 
raised his son Philip to the throne ; and King Henry re- 
turned with joy to England, leaving all things in tranquil- 
lity in France, Flanders, Normandy, Brittany, Maine, and 
Anjou. He then held a great council at London on the 
first of August regarding flie prohibition of priests having 
concubines^. There were present at this council WiUiam, 
archbishop of Canterbury, and Thurston, archbishop of 
York, Alexander, bishop of Lincoln, Koger, bishop of Salis- 
bury, (jilbert, bishop of London, John, bishop of Kochester, 
SigeMd, bishop of Stissex [Chichester], Godfrey, of Bath, 
Simon, of Worcester, Everard, of Norwich, Bernard, of 
St. David's, and Hervey, the first bishop of Ely. The sees 
of Winchester, Durham, Chester, and Hereford were vacant. 
The bishops were the pillars of the State, and bright beams of 
sanctity at that time. But the king deceived them through 
the simplicity of William, the archbishop, inasmuch as 
they gave the king jurisdiction in the matter of priests' 
concubines ; imprudently as it afterwards appeared, when 
the aflfair ended disgracefully. For the king received large 
sums of money from the priests for licence to Uve as before. 
Then, when it was too late, the bishops repented of the 
concessions they had made, it being apparent to all that 
they had been deceived, and had subjected the clergy to 
exactions. The same year those who had followed Hugh 
Paganus to Jerusalem, as before mentioned, met with a 
serious disaster. For the new settlers of the Holy Laud 
had offended the Almighty by their lust and robberies, and 
all kinds of wickedness. But as it is written in Moses and 
the Book of Kings, " Their wickedness in those places shall 
not long remain unpunished," on the eve of St. Nicholas a 
large body of the Christians were overcome by a very few of 
the imbelievers, contrary to what generally occmred. During 
the siege of Damascus, when the greatest part of the Chris- 
tian army had marched out to collect provisions, the Infidels 
were astonished at seeing those who were so numerous and 
brave take to flight at their approach. They pursued and 
slaughtered great numbers of them, and those who escaped 
the sword, and sought refuge in the mountains, suffered 

> See note before, page 241. 



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5^58 HENBY OF HUKTO^ODON. [BOOK TH. 

go severely from a snow storm and excessive cold, the 
instrmuents of Providence, that scarcely any one survived. 
It happened also the same year that the son of Philip, 
king of France, who had been crowned king as already 
mentioned, when riding out for sport, his horse's feet stum- 
bling over a boar he met with, he was thrown to ihe 
ground, and, breaking his neck, died on the spot. What a 
sad, singular, and wonderful casualty! In what a little 
moment, and by how trivial an accident, was such great 
majesty brought to its end ! 

[A.D. 1130.] In the thirtieth yeax of his reign, King 
Henry was at Winchester during Christmas, and during 
Easter at Woodstock, where Geoffi?ey de Clinton was 
arraigned on a false charge of treason against the king. 
At the Rogations he went to Canterbury, to be present at 
the consecration of the new cathedral diurch. At the feast 
oi St. Midiael he crossed over to Normandy. The same 
year Pope Honorius deceased. The year following the 
king entertained Pope Innocent at Chartres, refusing to 
acknowledge Anaclete. These popes were chosen by con- 
tending parties at Home ; but Innocent having been expelled 
from the city by the violence of Anaclete, who before was 
called Peter of Lewes, was, by the influence of King Heniy, 
acknowledged by all the States of France. After that, m 
the summer, he returned to England, bringing his dar^hter 
with him. There was th^a held, on the feast of the Na- 
tivity of the Blessed Vii^in, a great council at Northani|rton, 
in which were assembled all the great men of England, and 
on deliberation, it was determined that the king's daughter 
should be restored to her husband, the Count of Anjou, as 
he demanded. She was accordingly sent, and received 
with the pomp due to so great a princess. After Easter 
died Reginald, abbot of Ramsey, the founder of the new 
church fliere. In the beginning of winter died Hervey, 
first bishop of Ely. The year following the king was at 
Dunstable during Christmas, and at Woodstock during 
Easter. After that, there was a great plea at London, 
where, among other matters, the main subject was the 
dispute between the Bishop of St. David's and the Bishop 
of Glamorgan^ respecting the boundaries of their dioceses. 
' LkndaE 



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A.t). 1135.] T>EA1S OF HENST I. 259 

Baldwin, long of Jerusalem, died, and was succeeded by 
Geoffrey^. 

In the thirty- third year of his reign King Henry, dur- 
ing Christinas, lay sick at Windsor. In the end of Lent 
there was a meeting at London respecting the Bishops 
of St. David's «nd Glamorgan^, and also the contention 
between the Archbishop of York and the Bishop of Lin- 
cohi. The king spent Easter in the New Hall at Oxford ; 
and . at the Rogations there was another meeting at Win- 
chester about the above matters. After Whitsuntide the 
king gave the bishopric of Ely to Nigel, and the bishopric 
of Durham to G-odfrey liie Chancellor. The king also 
erected a new bishopric at Carlisle '^j and then he crossed 
over the sea. There Was an eclipse of the sun on the lOth 
of August. The year following King Heniy remained in 
Normandy, by reason of Ms great delight in his grand- 
children, bom of his daughter by the Oount of Anjou. 
Gilbert, bishop of London, and tlie Bishop of Llandaff died 
this year on tiieir way to Rome, respecting their cause so 
long pending. This year, also, Archbishop William, and 
Alexander, bishop of Lincoln, went over the sea to the 
king, on the controversy there was between them respecting 
certain customs of their dioceses. 

In his thirty-fifth year King Henry still continued in 
Normandy, though he often proposed to return to England, 
an intention which was never fulfilled. His daughter 
detained him on accoimt of sundry disagreements, which 
had their origin m various causes, between the king and 
the Count of Anjou, and which were fomented by the arts 
of his daughter. These disputes irritated the king, and 
roused an ill feeling, which some have said resulted in a 
natural torpor, which was the cause of his death. For, re- 
turning from lumting at St.Denys in the "Wood of Lions,'* 
h^ partook of some lampreys, of which he was fond, though 
they always disagreed with him ; and though his physician 
recommended him to abstain, the king would not submit 
to his salutary advice ; according to what is written : — 
" Men strive 'gainst rules, and seek forbidden things." 

1 Fulk ] see note, p. 256. ^ Llandaff. 

^ The Saxon Chronicle does not mention the foundation of this bishopric 
Ethelwulf, prior of St. Oswalds, the king's confessor, was the first bishop. 

S 3 



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260 HEMBY OF HUNTIKODON. [BOOK YH. 

This repast bringing on ill humours, and violently exciting 
similar symptoms, caused a sudden and extreme disturb- 
ance, under which his aged frame simk into a deathly 
torpor; in the reaction against which, Nature in her strug- 
gles produced an acute fever, while endeavouring to throw 
off the oppressive load. But when all power of resistance 
fiEtiled, this great king died on the first day of December 
[1135], after a reign of thirty-five years and three months. 
And now, with the end of so great a king, I propose to end 
the present Book, entreating tlie Muse to furnish such a 
memorial of him as he deserved : — 

Hark ! how unnnmber'd tongues lament 
Hbnbt, the wide world's ornament 
Olympus echoes back the groan, 
And Gods themselves his fote bemoan. 
Imperial Jove from his right hand 
Hight take the sceptre of command ; 
Mercury borrow winged words, 
Mars share with him the dash of twords 
Alcides' strength, Minerva's wit, 
Apollo's wisdom, him befit : 
Form'd like the Deities to shine. 
He shar'd their attributes divine. 
England, his cradle and his throne. 
Mourns, in his glory lost, her own ; 
Her great duke, weeping, Normandy 
Saw in her bosom lifeless lie. 



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A.D.1135.] . CHABAOTEB OF HENRY I. 261 



BOOK VIILi 

On the death of the great King Henry, his character was 
freely canvassed by the people, as is usual after men are 
dead. Some contended tiiat he was eminently distinguished 
for three brilliant gifts. These were, great sagacity, for 
his coimsels were profoimd, his foresight keen, and his 
eloquence commanding ; success in War, for, besides other 
splendid achievements, he was victorious over the king 
of France ; and wealth, in which he far surpassed aU his 
predecessors. Others, however, taking a different view^, 
attributed to him three gross vices : avarice, as, though 
his wealth was great, in imitation of his progenitors he 
impoverishedfthe people by taxes and exactions, entangUng 
them in the toils of informers ; cruelty, in that he plucked 
out the eyes of his kinsman, the Earl of Morton, in his 
captivity, though the horrid deed was unknown until death 
revealed the king's secrets : and they mentioned other in- 
stances of which I will say nothing ; and wantonness, for, 

^ This Book of Huntingdon's History has been collated for the purpose of 
the present translation, with two MSS., from which a number of corrections 
of Savile's text, besides those mentioned in the notes, and several additions, 
have been made. In Savile's arrangement, which has been followed, it 
forms the eighth Book ; but in the order of the two MSS. the tenth ; two 
others being inserted before it, and forming the eighth and ninth. See the Ob- 
icrvaiions in the Pr^ace. 

^ The Royal MS. differs here from the Arundel MS. and Savile's printed 
text. After " others taking a different view," it reads as follows : — 

" For their poisoned minds led them to humiliate him, [and they alleged 
that his extreme avarice induced him to oppress the people with taxes and 
exactions, entangling them in the toils of informers.] But those who asserted 
this did not recollect, that although his character was such that it struck 
terror into all his neighbours, yet this very affluence contributed, in no small 
degree, to make him formidable to his enemies ; and that he governed his 
sea-girt territories in great peace and prosperity, so that every man's house 
•was his castle. [Thus men's opinions were divided.]" 

In the Royal MS. the portions in brackets are crossed through in red, and 
there is the following note in the margin : " This is borrowed from Horace 
in his Epistles, who calls the secret robbery of the poor a low poison." 



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j26^ HENix ov Bmrns&DGtL [noc^ rm^ 

like Solomon, he was perpetually enslaved by female seduc- 
tions. Such remarks were freely bruited abroad. But in 
the troublesome times which succeeded from the atrocities 
of the Normans, whatever King Henry had done, either 
despotically, or in the regular exercise of his royal autho- 
rity, appeared in comparison most excellent 

For in aU haste came Stephen, the youngest brother of 
Theobald, count de Blois, a resolute and audacious man^ 
who, disregarding his oath of fealty to King Henry's daugh- 
ter, tempted God by seizing the crown of England with 
the boldness and eflfrontery belonging to his character. 
William [Gorboil], archbishop of Canterbury, who had 
been the first to swear allegiance to the late king's dau^- 
ter, consecrated, alas ! the new king^ ; wherefore, the Itord 
visited him with the same judgment which he had inflicted 
on him who struck Jeremiah, the great priest : he died 
within a year. Boger, also, the powerful bishop of Salis- 
bury, who had taken a similar oath, and persuaded others 
to do t±ie same, contributed all in his power to raise 
Stephen to the throne. He, too, by the just judgment of 
Ood, was afterwards thrown into prison, and miserably 
afflicted by the very king he had assisted to make. In 
short, all the earls and great barons who had thus sworn 
fealty, transferred their allegiance to Stephen, and did him 
homage. It was a bad sign, that the whole of England 
should so quickly, without hesitation or struggle, as it were 
in the twinkling of an eye, submit to Stephen, After his 
coronation, he held his court at London. 

Meanwhile, the iremain& of King Henry lay sdU unburied 
in Normandy; for he died on the 1st of December, 
[a.d. 1135.] His corpse was carried to Bouen, whex-e his 
bowels, with his brain and eyes, were deposited. The body 
being slashed by knives, and copiously sprinkled with salt, 
was sown up in ox hides to prevent the ill effluvia, which 
so tainted the air as to be pestilential to the bystanders. 
Even the man who was hired by a large reward to sever 

* Henry of Huntingdon emits to notice the debates wHch took place 
among the great ecclesiastics respecting the raliditj of Stephen's pretensions 
and the propriety of crowning him, which are related in the '* Acts of Step 
phen : " see them under the year 1136« 



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A.B.1135.J KiNct Stephen's accession. ^09 

the head with an axe and extract the brain, which was very 
offensive, died in c(msequence, although he wore a thick 
linen veil ; so that his wages were dearly earned. [He 
was the last of Ihat great multitude King Henry slew.^] 
The corpse being then carried to Caen, was deposited in 
the church where his father was int^red ; but notwith- 
standing the quantity of salt which had been used, and the 
folds of skins in which it was wrapped, so much foul matter 
continually exuded, that it was caught in vessels placed 
under the bier, in emptying which the attendants were 
affected with horror and fain tings. Observe, then, reader, 
how the corpse of this mighty king, whose head was 
crowned with a diadem of precious jewels, sparkling with a 
brightness almost divine, who held flittering sceptres in 
bo& his hands, the rest of whose body was robed in cloth 
of gold, whose palate was gratified by such delicious and 
exquisite viands, whom all men bowed down to, all men 
feared, congratulated, and admired; observe, I say, what 
harrible decay, to what a loathsome state, his body was 
reduced ! Mark how things end, from which only a true 
judgment can be formed, and learn to despise what so 
perishes and comes to nothing! At last, the royal remains 
were brought over to En^and, and interred, within twelve 
days of Christmas, in the abbey at Beading, which King 
Henry had founded and richly endowed. There, King 
Stephen, after holding his court at London diiring Christ- 
mas, came to meet the body of his imcle, and William, 
archbishop of Xyanterbuiy, with many earls and great men, 
boned King Henry with the honours due to so great a 
prince. 

From thence the king went to Oxford, where he recorded 
and ratified the solemn promises which he had made to 
God and the people, and to holy church, on the day of his 
coronation^. They were these : — First, he vowed that he 
wgnldjtieyerjpetainjLn^ jiis own E Sias me churcnes o f 
deceased Dishops7 but^iJiwith consenting to a canonical^ 

TlPhia sent^ce is dfflHted ui'the Royal MS. ; but it is found in tfie 
Anmdel MS., and occurs in Boger de Wendorer. 

' The charter is given in William of Malmeshary's Modem History. Sefr 
p. 493 of the translation in ** Bohn's Antiquarian Labrary." 

* The Boyal MS. omito ''canonical" 



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264 HENBY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK TlH. 

election, wotdd invest those who were chosen. Secondly, 
tfiat he would not lay hands on the woods either of clerks 
or lay men, as King ileniy had done, who continually im- 
pleaded those who took venison in their own woods, or 
felled or diminished them to supply their own wants. 
This kind of pleading was carried to so execrahle a lengthy 
that if the king's supervisors set eye from a distance on a 
wood belonging to any one whom they thought to be a 
moneyed man, Qiey forthwith reported that there was waste, 
whether it was so or not, that the owner might have to 
redeem it, though the charge was groundless. Thirdly . 
tibe king n mry^ippH thn.^. ^e Dane-gelt, that is jwo shillmg s — > 
for a hide of land, wluch ins predecessors had received 
ypftrlyj shnnld Via frivpn ^^p for ever. These were the prin- 
cipal things which, among others, he promised in the pre- 
sence of God ; but he kept none of them. 

Stephen, coming in the first year of his reign to Oxford, 
received inteUigence that the king of the Scots, pretending 
to pay him a friendly visit, had marched to Carlisle, and 
taken Newcastle by stratagem. The king replied to the 
messenger, " What he has gained by stratagem I will com- 
pel him to yield." King Stephen, therefore, immediately 
assembled one of the greatest armies levied in England 
within the memory of man, and led it against King Davids 
They met at Durham, where the king of the Scots came to 
terms, shrrendering Newcastle, but retaining Carlisle by 
permission of Stephen; and King David did not do ho- 
mage to King Stephen, because he had been the first of 
all the laymen to swear fealty to the late king's daughter, 
who was his own niece, acknowledging her queen of Eng- 
land after her father's death. But Henry, King David's son , 
did homag e to Stephen^ and thatJ^ing gave mm In additio n 
tBe*T:uwu "[and earldomj of Huntingdon. King StepheH 
returning from the north, held his court during Easter at 
London, in a more splendid manner than had ever been 
before known, both for the number of attendants, and the 

' Henry of Huntingdon does not notice an expedition of Stephen's against 
some insurgents in the neighbourhood of London in the first days of his 
reign, nor one under his brother Baldwin, into Wales, where disturbances 
arose after the death of Henry I. — Ste the Act* of King Stephen, 



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A.D. 1136.] SIEGE OF EXETEB. 265 

magnigcent displ ay nf go Jd, Ri lyftrj jftw^lc, cofftily rfthftfi, fiTlj* 
eveiythm^ that was sumptuo us. At Eogation days it was 
reported that the king was deaS^} upuu h«ai'ilig wliliJh 
Hugh Bigod seized Norwich Castle, nor would he sur- 
render it except to the king in person, and then very 
reluctantly. Breach of fealty and treason now began to 
spread rapidly among the Normans. The king took the 
castle of Bathenton^ which belonged to one Robert, a rebel. 
Then he laid siege to Exeter, which was shut against him 
byB aldwin de Rivers, wh o held out a long time, till the 
kmg had constructed machines for the assault, and expended 
much treasure. Then, at last, the castle was surrendered; 
but being ill advised, he permitted the rebels to go without 
punishment, whereas if he had inflicted it, so many castles 
would not have been afterwards held against him. From 
thence the king went to the Isle of Wight, which he took 
from this Baldwin de Rivers, whom he banished from Eng- 
land^. Elated by these successes, the king went to hunt at 
Brampton, which is about a mile distant from Huntingdon ^ 
and there he held pleas of the forests with his barons, that 
is, concerning their woods and hunting, in violation of his 
promise and vow to God and the people. 

In the second year of his reign, King Stephe nuspfint 
Christmas at Dunstable, and in Lent he sailed over to Nor- 
mandy*. Alexander, bishop of Lincoln, and many nobles 

' Eoyal MS., Bachentune ; Arandel MS., Bakentune. In the translation 
of Boger of Wendover, in "John's Antiquarian Library," this place is 
named " Badington." There is a full account of Bobert the Bebel and the 
siege of his castle of " Bathenton," in the ** Gesta Stephani," in a subsequent 
part of the present volume. Dr. Sewell calls it Bath. That city certainly 
lay in Stephen's road to Exeter, and one of its suburbs still retains a similar 
name, Bathampton : but it is to be observed that the author of " Gesta 
Stephani," who subsequently gives a particular account of Bath, and of 
transactions there, invariably calls it Batta, and, as it appears to me, entirely 
disconnects Robert de Bathenton from Bath. 

2 The " Acts of Stephen" contains a circumstantial account of the siege 
of Exeter and other transactions in the west of England. 

' MS. Arundel, " Branton." We probably owe this local reference to 
Henry's connection with Huntingdon. 

* The Saxon Chronicle, Malmesbury, and Roger of Wendover, notice this 
expedition to Normandy ; but there is no account of it in the " Acts of 
King Stephen.'' 



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2dd HENBT OF HXIKTIKGDON. [BOOK VIH. 

crossed wi& him. There the king, from his expmence in 
war, succeeded in all he undertook, defeated the schemes 
of his enemies, reduced their castles, and obtained the 
highest glory. He made peace with the king of the 
French, to whom his son Eustace did hcmu^e for "Scat- 
mandy, i^di is a fief of the French crown. The Count 
of Anjou was his mortal enemy, for he had married King- 
Henry's dangler, who had be^ empress of Grermony, and 
had received oaths of fealty for the kingdom of England ; 
so that the husband and wife laid claims to the crown. 
But seeing that at present he could not make head against 
King Stef&en, on account of his nmnerous forces, and of 
the abimdanee of money found in the treasury of the late 
king, which still remained, the Count of Anjou came to 
terms with King Stej^iai^. Thus successful, the king 
returned to England in trium^ on the yery eve of Christ- 
mas. These two first years of King Stephen's reign were 
completely prosperous ; for the next year, of which I have 
now to speak, his fortunes were moderate and j^iul ; &xt 
the two last, they were ruined and desperate. 

[a.d. 1138.] King Stephen in the tlurd year of his reign, 
with his usual activity, flew to Bed£ord, and, sitting down 
before it on Christmas eve, pressed the siege during the 
whole festival, which was displeasing to God, inasmuch 
as it made that holy season of httle or no account. After 
the surrender of Bedford, King Stephen led his army into 
Scotland, for King David, in c(mseque^ce of the oath ^wdiich 
he had taken to King Henry's daughter, and under colour 
of religion, caused his followers to deal most barbarously 
with ihe English. They ripped open pregnant women, 
tossed children on the points of their spears, butchered 
priests at the altars, and, cutting off the heads fi-om the 
images on crucifixes, placed them on the bodies of the 
slain, while in exchange, they fixed on the crucifixes the 
heads of their victims. Wherever the Scots came, there 
was the same scene of horror and cruelty ; women shriek- 
ing, old men lamenting, amid the groans of the dying 

' Stephen consented to pay 5000 marks a year to the Count of Anjou ; 
agre^g at the same time to allow 2000 marks annually to his own eldor 
brother Theobald, count de Blois. 



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AJ>.1138.] THE BABOlfS BEYOLT. d6T 

and the de^>air of the living, King Stephen, therefore, 
making an irruption into Scotland, carried fire and sword 
throu^ the sou^^m part o£ the dominions of King David, 
who was miable to oppose him. After Easter the treason 
of the English nohles burst forth with great fury. Talbot, 
one of the rebels, held Hereford Castle in Wales against the 
king, which, however, the king besieged and took Bobert, 
the earl [of Gloucester], bastard son of King Henry, main- 
tained himself in the strongly fortified castle of Bristol, 
and in that of Leeds. William Lovell^ held Castle-Cary; 
Planus held Ludlow Castle ; William de Mohnn^, Dunster 
Castle ; Bobert de Nichole, Wareham Castle ; Eustace Fitz- 
John held Melton; and William Fitz-Alan, Shrewsbury 
Castle; which last the king stormed, and hung some of 
the prisoners; upon hearing which Walkeline, who hdd 
Dover Castle, surrendered it to the queen, who was besieging 
it. While the king was thus engaged in the south, David 
of Scotland led an immense army into the north of 
England, against which the northern nobles, at the exhor- 
tation and under ^e command of Thurstan, archbishop of 
Yoris:, made a resolute stand. The royal standard was 
planted at Alverton^, and as the archbishop was prevented 
by illness from being present at the battle, he commissioned 
Balph, bishop of Durham^, to fill his place, who, standing 
on an eminence in the centre of the army, roused their 
courage with words to this effect : — 

" Brave nobles of England, Normans by birth ; for it is 
well that on the eve of battle you should call to mind who 
you are, and fit)m whom you are sprung: no one ever 
withstood you with success. Gallant France fell beneath 
your arms; fertile England you subdued; rich Apulia 

> Arundel MS., « Ralph Luv^" » " Moion,'* Arundel MS. 

' Allerton. This fiunoa»hattle ef the Standard is also fully described by 
Boger of Wendoyer. See also William of Newbury and Trivet ; but the 
MS. of the *' Gesta Stepfaaniy" aifter relating the irmption into Northmnb»- 
land, becomes imperfect just in this place. 

* Both the MSS. which I have consulted concur with Savile's printed 
text in the reading of ** OroitduBi ; " but as Eoger of Wendorer calls Ralph 
Bishop of DurkaTH, and he was evidently a sufiragan of the Archbishop of 
Tork, I have adopted that iMidmg. Feihapt the biidiopi of Durham had 
jurisdiction in the Orkneys 1 



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268 HBNBY OF HUNTIMODOK. [BOOK YIU. 

flourished again under your auspices ; Jerusalem, renowned 
in story, and the noble Antioch, both submitted to you. 
Now, however, Scotland which was your own rightly, has 
tak^i you at disadvantage, her rashness more fitting a 
skirmish than a battle. Her people have neither miUtary 
skill, nor order in fighting, nor self command. There is, 
therefore, no reason for fear, whatever there may be for 
indignation, at finding those whom we have hitherto sought 
and conquered in their own country, madly reversing the 
order, making an irruption into ours. But that which I, a 
bishop, and by divine permission, standing here as the 
representative of our archbishop, tell you, is this: that 
those who in this land have violated the temples of the 
Lord, polluted his altars, slain his priests, and spared 
neither children nor women with child, shall on this same 
soil receive condign punishment for their crimes. This 
most just fulfilment of his will God shall this day accom- 
phsh by our hands. Bouse yourselves, then, gaUant soldiers, 
and bear down on an accrursed enemy with the coiu^e of 
your race, and in the presence of God. Let not their 
impetuosity shake you, since the many tokens of our 
valour do not deter them. They do not cover themselves 
with armour^ in war; you are in the constant practice of 
arms in times of peace, that you may be at no loss in the 
chances of the day of battle. Your head is covered with 
the helmet, your breast with a coat of mail, your legs with 
greaves, and your whole body with the shield. Where can 
file enemy strike you when he finds you sheathed in steel ? 
"What have we to fear in attacking the naked, bodies of men 
who know not the use of armour ? Is it their numbers ? 
It is not so much the multitude of a host, as the valour of 
a few, which is decisive. Numbers, without discipline, are 
an hindrance to success in the attack, and to retreat in 
defeat. Your^ ancestors were often victorious when they 
were but a few against many. What, then, does the renown 

1 " Nesciunt annare se ; ** and just afterwards the historian calls them 
"nudos et inermes !" Not that they went to battle unarmed, as the passage 
has been rendered, but the rank and file of the Scots used no defensiye ar- 
mour, and perhaps, like their posterity, they only wore the kilt. 

« Arundel MS., "our." 



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A.D 1138.] BATTLE OP THE STANDABD. 269 

of your fathers, your practice of arms, your military disci- 
pline avail, unless they make you, few though you are in 
numbers, invincible against the enemy's hosts? But I 
close my discourse, as I perceive them rushing on, and I am 
delighted to see that they are advancing in disorder. Now, 
then, if any of you who this day are called to avenge the 
atrocities committed in the houses of God, against the 
priests of the Lord, and his little flock, should fall in the 
battle, I, in the name of your archbishop, absolve them 
from all spot of sin, in the name of the Father, whose crea- 
tures the foe hath foully and horribly slain, and of the Son, 
whose altars they have defiled, and of the Holy Ghost, 
from whose grace they have desperately fallen." 

Then all the English replied witli a shout, and the 
mountains and hills re-echoed, "Amen! Amen!" At the 
same moment the Scots raised their country's war-cry, 
"Alban! Alban!" till it reached the clouds. The sounds 
were drowned amid the crash of arms. In the first onset 
the men of Lothian, to whom the king of the Scots had 
reluctantly granted the honour of striking the first blow, 
bore down on the mailed English knights with a cloud of 
darts and their long spears, but they found their ranks 
impenetrable as a wall of steel ; while the archers mingled 
witti the knights, pierced the unanhed Scots with a cloud 
of arrows. The whole army of English and Normans 
stood fast round The Standard ^ in one solid body. Then 
the chief of the men of Lothian fell, pierced by an arrow, 
and all his followers were put to flight. For the Almighty 
was oflended at them, and their strength was rent like a 
cobweb. Perceiving this, the main body of the Scots, which 
was fighting bravely in another quarter, lost courage, and 
retreated also. King David's chosen body of soldiers also, 
which he had selected from various tribes, when they saw 
this, began to flee, first singly, and then in troops, until the 
king stood almost alone ; upon which his friends compelled 
him to mount a horse and escape. But his brave son, 
heedless of what his countrymen were doing, and inspired 
only by his ardour for the fight and for glory, made a fierce 

1 From which thia battle was called <' The Battle of the Standard." 



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$T0 HSKBT OF HtmrtKaBov. [book TltZ. 

attack, with the remnant of the ftighives, on the enemy's 
ranks. The hody nnder his own command, composed of 
English and Normans attached to his father's household, 
had retained their horses. But this body of caTalry cotdd by 
no means make any impres^on against men sheathed in 
armomr, and fighting on foot in a close colinnn ; so titmt 
they were compelled to retire with womided horses and 
shattered^ lances, after a brilliant but tinsuccessful attack. 
It is reported that 11,000 of the Sco*s fell on the field 
of battle, besides liiose who were found in the woods 
and corn-fields, and there slain. Om* army gained this 
victory with very little eflFiision of blood. Its leaders were 
William Peperel, of Nottingham, Walter Espec, and Gilbert 
de Lacy, whose brother was the only knight slain. When 
the issue of the battle was reported to King StejAen, he 
and all who were with him offered solemn ^banks to 
Almighty God. It was fought in llie month of August. 
During Advent, Alberic, the pope's legate, and Bishop of 
Ostia, held a synod at London, in which Hieobald, al:Hfe)0t 
of Bee, was made Archbishop of Canterbuiy, witii the con- 
currence of King Stej^n*. 

In the fourth year of his reign, when Christmas was past, 
King Stephen besieged and tpok Leeds Castle ; after which 
he went into Scotland, and by fire and sword compelled 
the king of the Scots to come to terms, and brought away 
to England his son Henry. He then besieged Ludlow, 
where this Henry was dragged from his horse by an iron 
hook, and nearly taken prisoner, but wm gaHantly rescued 
from the enemy by King Stephen. As soon as the castle 
surrendered'* he went to Oxford, where he perpetrated a 
deed of great infamy and out of all precedent. For, afler 
receiving amicably Roger, bishop of Salisbury, and his 
nephew Alexander, bishop of Lincoln, he violently arrested 
Hiem in his own palace, tiiough they refused nothing which 
justice demanded, and earnestly appealed to it. The king 

* Savile'a text has "shortened," but both the MSS. collated for contractu 
read confractU, shattered. 

* See the ** Acts of King Stephen," for a long account of transactioiui in 
the west of England this year, not even referred to by Huntingdon. 

^ Savile's text has it, '^ re imperfects^" but bis maiyinal rea^ng and both 
the MSS. collated have *' perfecta." 



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AJ). 1139.] STEBHieN IMPB1B0N8 THE BISHOPS. ^71 

j&rew Bishop Alexander into prison, and carried the Bishqp 
of Salislftiiy with Mm to his own castle of Devizes, one of 
the most stately in all Europe. There he tormented him 
by starvation, and put to the torture his son, the king's 
chancellor \ who had a rope fastened round his neck, and 
was led to the gallows. Thus he extorted from him the 
surrender of his castiie, unmindful of the services whidi the 
bishop had rendered him, more than all others, in ibe 
beginning of his reign. Such was the return for his devo- 
tedness^. In a similar manner he obtained possession of 
Sherborne Castle, which was Utile inferior to Deviises. 
Having got hold of the bishop's treasures, he used them to 
obtain in marriage for his son Eustace the hand of Con- 
stance, Lewis the French king's sister. Betuming thence, 
the king took with him to Newark, Alexander, bishop of 
liincoln, whom he had before thrown into prison at Oxford. 
The bishop had built at Newark a castle in a florid style of 
architecku^, on a charming site, cunong iJie meadows 
washed by the river Trent. Having inspected this castle, 
-die king enjomed the bishop a £Eist not authorized hy the 
rubric, swearing that he should be deprived of food, until 
lie gave up his right to the castle. But Hie bishop had 
some difficulty in persuading his garrison with prayers and 
tears to deliver it into the custody of strangers. Another 
of his castles, called Sleaford, not iniierior in beauty and 
jsite, was surrendered in a similar manner. Not long after- 
wards, wh^i Henry, bishop of Winchester, the king's 
brother and ,the pope's legate, held a synod at Winchester, 
Theobald, ar^bishc^ of Canterbury, and all the bishops 
present, join^ him in imploring the king on their bended 
Icnees to restore their possessions to the bishops above 

* ** Roger, tfhe Chancellor of England, was the ton of Bc^r, bishop of 
Salisbury, by Maud of Eainsbury, his concubine." — Hardy. 

* Compare Henry of Huntingdon's accowrt of the long^s proceedings 
against the bishops with that given by Williara of Mahneslmry in his 
Modem History, p. 496, Bohn's Antiquarian labrary; and with that 
in the " Acts of King Stephen,*' in the latter part of the present votuine. 
Henry of Huntingdon evidently leans to the side of his patrons the bishops, 
while the view of the kingfs policy by the anonymeto author of the *' Gesta 
fitephani," though an ecclesiastic, is just and statesman-like, whatever mi^ 
be thought of the king's harshness and breadi of faith. Malmesbury idso 
treats the subject very fairly. 



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27a HENBY OF HUNTINGDON. [bOOK VIH. 

named, with the understanding that they should overlook 
the indignities to which they had heen subjected. But 
unmoved by the supplications of such an august assemblage, 
the king, following evil counsels, refused to grant their 
petitions ^ 

This prepared the way for the eventual ruin of the house 
of Stephen. For forthwith, the Empress Maud, the daughter 
of the late King Henry, who had received tbe fealty of the 
English, came over to England, and was received into 
Arundel Castle^. There she was besieged by the king, 
who, listening to perfidious counsel, or finding the castle 
too strong to be taken, granted her a safe conduct to 
go to Bristol. The same year died Eoger^, the bishop of 
whom I have lately spoken, worn out by trouble and weight 
of years. My readers may well marvel at his sudden 
change of fortune. For from his youth upwards her 
favours had so accumulated, that we might say that for 
once she had forgotten to turn her wheel ; nor in his whole 
career did he meet with any adverse events, until a cloud 
of miseries gathered about him, and ovendielmed him at 
the last. Let no one, then, depend on the continuance of 
Fortune's favours, nor presume on her stability, nor think that 
he can long maintain his seat erect on her revolving wheel. 

In the fifth year of his reign King Stephen expelled from 
his see Nigel, bishop of Ely, because he wa^ the nephew 
of the late bishop of Salisbury, against whom he was so 
incensed that his anger extended to all his kindred. Where 
the king spent Christmas and Easter it matters not; for 
now all that made the coin*t splendid, and the regalia 
handed down from the long line of his predecessors, had 
disappeared. The treasury, left well filled, was now empty ; 

^ See a fall account of the proceedings of tliis synod in Malmesbniy's 
"Modem History." 

' By William d' Anbeney, husband of Queen Alice^ who had in dowry firom 
the late King Henry the castle and earldom of Anmdel. See the *' Acts of 
King Stephen " and William of Malmesbury, for a full account of the pro- 
gress of the Empress and her brother Bobert, earl of Gloucester, after their 
airival. 

' Roger, bishop of Salisbury, was one of the greatest statesmen and mogt 
powerfid prelates of his time. See further particulars of him in Hunting- 
don's Treatise, " De Oontemptu Mnndi," in the latter part of the present 
volume. 



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A.D. 1141.] SIEGE OF LINCOLN. 273 

the kingdom was a prey to intestine wars^; slaughter, fire, 
and rapine spread ruin throughout the land ; cries of dis- 
tress, horror, and woe rose in every quarter. The state of 
affairs is described in the following elegy : — 

" Oh ! for a fount of tears to flow. 
And weep my country's bitter woe. 
Clouds shroud her in the darkest gloom. 
And thicken round her day of doom; 
Fated intestine wars to see, 
Fire, fiiry, blood, and cruelly. 
Bapine stalks boldly through the land, 
Euthlessly baring the strong hand ; 
A castle's walls are no defence 
Against the sons of violence; 
All truth is fled ; unblushing fraud 
And flaunting treason walk abroad : 
Churches, in vain, and holy ground 
Which erst religion fenced round. 
Open their gates to shelter those 
Who refuge seek from bloody foes. 
The monks and nuns, a helpless train. 
Are plundered, tortur'd, ravish'd, slain. 
Q&mxt &mine, following, wastes away 
Whom murder spares, with slow decay. 
Who for the dead shall find a grave 1 
Who England's hapless children save 1 
The cup of mingled woe she drains. 
All hell 's broke loose, and chaos reigns." 

[a.d. 1141.2] jjj ^g sixth year of his reign, during the 
season of Christmas, King Stephen. laid siege to Lincoln, 
the defences of which Eanulph, earl of Chester, had fraudu- 
lently seized. The king sat down before it, till the feast of 
the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary [Mother of 
God.^] Then the earl aforesaid, with Eobert, Kmg Henry's 

* The *' Acts of King Stephen " largely supply details of the movements 
which Huntingdon thus briefly notices, particularly those in the west of 
England. 

' Boger of Wendover notices the battle of Lincoln under the year 1140. 
The Saxon Chronicle under the date of that year describes it as ''after- 
wards." "Several MSS. of William of Malmesbury, as well as the printed 
copy, read 1142 ; but one has 1141, which is right" — ^Note to the " Modem 
History," p. 513, " Bohn's Antiquarian Library." The date in Huntingdon, 
" the sixth year of Stephen's reign," agrees with this. 

* "Mother of God," not found in either of the MSS. collated. 

T 



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S74 HBNBT OF HUKTIlKHXlir. [BOOK YHI. 

son, his oim faiher-mrlaw ^ and other powerf liL nobles, aasem- 
bled to raise the siege. The same day tiie earl, boldly 
crossing a marsh which was almost impassablev drew up 
his troops, and c^red 'the king battle. He himself led 
the first line, composed of his own retainers ; the second 
was. headed by tiie nobles eidled by King Stephen; 
Eobert, the powerfiil earl [of Gloucester], commanded the 
third. The Welsh, ill armed, but fidl of ^irits, were dis- 
posed on the wings of the army. And now the Earl of 
Chester, a man of great prowess, in bright armour, thus 
addressed Earl Eobert and the other barons: "Keceive 
my hearty thanks, most puissant earl, and you, my noble fel- 
low-soldiers, for that you are prepared to risk yoiu* hves in 
testimony of your devotion to me. But since it is through 
me you are called to encounter this peril, it is fitting that 
I should myself bear the Ixnmt of it, and be foremost in 
the attack on this faithless king, who has broken the peace 
to which he is pledged. While I, therefore, animated by 
my own valour, and the remembrance of the king's perfidy, 
throw myself on the king's troops, and hew a road tiirough 
the centre of his anny, it will be your part, brave soldiers, 
to follow up my success. I have a strong presage that we 
shall put the king's troops to the rout, trample under foot 
his nobles, and stnke himself with the sword." When he 
had spoken. Earl Robert thus replied to the young earl, 
while, standing on an eminence, he spoke to this effect: 
" It is fitting that you should have the boaour of striking 
the first blow, both on account of your high rank and your 
exceeding valour. If, indeed, it were a question of rank 
only, no one has higher pretensions than myself, the son 
and nephew of mi^ty kings ; and for valour, there are 
many here who stand among the most renowned, to whom 
no man living can be preferred. But I am actuated by 
considerations of a very different kind. The king has 
inhumanly usurped the crown, faithless to the fealty which 
he swore to my sister, and by the disorder he has occa- 
sioned has caused the slaughter of many thousands ; and 

* Arundel MS. "Bootram;** t^ text of Savile na^ "geneniin>" soft*- 
in-law, incorret^. 



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A»D. 1141.] BATILB OP LINCOLN. 2')^5 

by the example he has set of an illegal distributi<m of lands, 
has destroyed the rights of property. The first onset ought, 
therefore, to be made by those he has disinherited, with 
whom the Grod of justice will co-operate, and make them 
the ministers of his just punishment. He who judgeth the 
people with equity wiU look down from his habitation in 
the heavens above, and will not desert those who are seeking 
for justice, in this their hour of need. There is one thing, 
however, brave nobles and soldiers all, which I wish to 
impress* on your minds. There is no possibility of retreat 
over the marges whicL you have just crossed with diffi- 
culty. Here, Hi^efore, you must either conquer or die; 
for there is no hope of safety in flight. The only com^e 
that remains is, to open a way to the city with your swords. 
If my mind conjectures truly, as flee you cannot, by God's 
help you will this day triumph. Those must rely wholly 
on their valour who have no other refuge. You, victorious, 
will see the citizens of Lincoln, who stand in array nearest 
their walls, give way before the impetuosity of your attack 
and, with faint hearts, seek the shelter of their houses. 
Listen, while I tell you with whom you have to do. There 
is Alan, earl of Brittany, in arms against us, nay against 
God himself; a man so execrable, so polluted with every 
sort of wickedness, that his equal in crime cannot be found; 
who never lost an opportunity of doing evil, and who would 
think it his deepest disgrace, if any one else covld be put 
in comparison with him for cruelty. Then, we have op- 
posed to us the Earl of Mellent, cra%, perfidious ; whose 
heart is naturally imbued with dishonesty, his tongue with 
firaad, his bearing with cowardice. Vain-glorious in tem- 
per and boastful in words, he is pusillanimous in deeds ; 
slow in advance, quick in retreat, the last in fight, the first 
in fli^t Next, we have against us Earl Hu^^, who not 
only makes light of his breach of fealty s^ainst the empress, 
but has pei^ured himself most patently a second time; 
affirming that King Henry conferred the crown on Stephen, 
and that the king's daughter abdicated in his favour ; and 
this man considers fraud to be a virtue, and perjury to be 
admired. Then we have the Earl of Albemarle, a man 

> Hugh Bigod^ earl of Norfi>lk. 

T d 



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5i76 HENBY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK VUI. 

tsingularly consistent in his wicked courses, prompt to em- 
bark in them, incapable of relinquishing them ; from whom 
his wife was compelled to become a fugitive, on account of 
his intolerable filthiness. The earl also marches against 
us, who carried off the coimtess just named; a most 
flagrant adulterer, and a most eminent bawd, a slave to 
Bacchus, but no friend to Mars ; redolent of wine, indolent 
in war. With him comes Simon, earl of Northampton, 
who never acts, but talks, who never gives, but promises, 
who thinks that when he has said a thing he has done it, 
when he has promised he has performed. [Hitherto I have 
said nothing of that runaway, William de Ypres ; for words 
have not yet been found to describe fitly the wiles and 
crooked paths of his treasons, and the disgusting loath- 
someness of his impurities.]^ So of the rest of Stephen's 
nobles : they are like their king ; practised in robbery, 
rapacious for plunder, steeped in blood, and all alike 
tainted with pequry. You, brave nobles, whom the late 
King Henry exalted, this Stephen has humbled; whom 
the one raised, the other ruined. Eouse yourselves, and 
relying on your valour, nay rather on God's justice, take 
the vengeance which He offers you on these iniquitous 
men, and gain for yourselves and yoiu: posterity immortal 
renown. If you are of one mind in executing the divine 
judgment, swear to advance, execrate retreat, and, in token 
of it, unanimously raise your hands to heaven." 

The earl had scarcely finished speaking, when the whole 
army, raising their hands to heaven, abjiu-ed flight with 
tremendous shouts, and closing the ranks, marched against 
the enemy in excellent order. Meanwhile King Stephen, 
in much tribulation of mind, heard mass celebrated with 
great devotion ; but as he placed in the hands of Bishop 
Alexander the taper of wax, the usual royal offering^, it 
broke, betokening the rupture of the kings. The pix also, 
wliich contained Christ's body, snapt its fastening, and fell 
on the altar, while the bishop was celebrating ; a sign of 



1 The sentence witHn the brackets, omitted in Sayile's text, is inserted, 
from the Royal MS. 

* On the Feast of Purification, when the blessing of candles is part of 
the office of the Eoman church. 



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A.D. 1141.] BATTLE OF LINCOLN. 377 

the king's fall from power ^ Nevertheless, he set forth 
with great firmness, and drew up his army with much 
caution. He took post himself in the centre of the men-at- 
arms, a numerous body, whom he caused to dismoimt, and 
drew up in the closest order. His earls and theur knights 
retained their horses and formed, by his order, two lines ; 
but this part of his force was smaU. For his false ^ and, 
factious earls had few retainers ; but the king s own followers 
were very nmnerous, and one body of them was entrusted 
with the royal standard. Then, as King Stephen's voice 
was not clear, Baldwin Fitz-Gilbert, a man of the highest 
rank, and a brave soldier, was deputed to address a word 
of exhortation to the assembled army. Placed on a com- 
manding spot^, where the eyes of all were directed to him, 
after arresting their attention by a short and modest pause, 
he thus began : — 

" All ye who are now about to engage in battle must 
consider three things: first, the justice of your cause; 
secondly, the number of your force ; and thirdly, its bra- 
very : the justice of the cause, that you may not peril your 
soids ; the number of your force, that it may not be over- 
whelmed by the enemy ; its valour, lest, trusting to num- 
bers, cowardice should occasion defeat. The justice of 
your cause consists in this, that we maintain, at the peril 
of our lives, our allegiance to the king, before God, against 
those of his subjects who are perjured to him. In num- 
bers, we are not inferior in cavalry, stronger in infantry. 
As to the valour of so many barons, so many earls, and of 
our soldiers long trained to war, what words can do it 
justice ? Our most valiant king will alone stand in place 

' William of Malmesbnry does not notice these omens, which^ how- 
ever^ we find mentioned in Roger of Wendover ; and the breaking of the 
taper in " Oesta Stepham." 

^ Stephen was the first who created merely titular earls, called by another 
old writer Fseudo-comites ; the earls or counts having hitherto had jurisdic- 
tion over the counties from which they took their titles, and from which 
they derived certain revenues. 

' The Royal MS. has a clever pen and ink drawing at the foot of the 
page, representing Baldwin leaning on his sword, and standing on a hillock 
in the act of addressing a group of knights in chain armour, at the head of 
whom King Stephen is distinguished by a royal circlet on his helmet, and 
others by ^e devices on their shields. 



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^8 HENBT OF HTJNTIN(HX)N. [BOOK VIH. 

of a host Your sovereign, the anointed of the Lord, will 
be in the midst of you; to him, then, to whom you have 
sworn fealty, keep your «aths in the sight of God, persuaded 
that He wUl grant you his aid according as you fwthfully 
and steadfastly fight for your king, as true men against 
the perjured, as loyal men against traitors. Fearing nothing, 
then, and filled with the utmost confidence, learn against 
whom you have to fight. The power of Earl Robert is 
well known ; but it is his custom to threaten much and do 
little; with the mouth of a lion and the heart of a hare, he 
is loud in talk, but dull in action. The Earl of Chester is 
a man of reckless audacity, ready for a plot, not to be 
depended on in canying it out, rash in battle, careless of 
danger ; with designs beyond his powers, aiming at impos- 
sibilities; having few steady followers, but collecting a 
confused multitude; there is nothing to be feared from 
him. None of his undertakings prosper; he is either 
defeated in battle, or, if by any chance he obtains a victory, 
his losses are greater than those of the conquered. You 
may despise the Welsh he has brou^t witii him, as ill 
armed and recklessly rash; and being unskilled and un- 
practised in the art of war, they are ready to fall like wild 
beasts into the toils. For the other nobles and knights, 
ihey are traitors and turncoats, [and I would that there 
were more of them, for] ^ the more there are the less are 
they to be feared. Ye, then, earls, and men having preten- 
sions to that rank, ought to be mindful of your valour and 
renown. Eaise your mihtary virtues this day to the highest 
pitch, and, following the examples of yoiu* fathers, leave to 
your children undying glory. Let the determination to 
conquer be your incentive to fight, while the certainty of 
defeat is theirs to fly. Already, if I am not mists^en, tiaey 
repent of their coming, and their thought is of retreat, if 
the difficulties of their position permit it. Since, then, 
they can neither fight nor fly, what remains but that, by 
God's will, they surrender themselves and their baggage to 
you ? Lift up tlien your hearts, and stretch out your haads, 
soldiers, exultingly, to take the prey which God himself 
offers to you." 

* The words within the brackets are omitted in the Boyal MS. 



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A.D. 1141.] SING ST3£PH£N MADE TfilSONEB. d79 

Before the close of this speech the shoots of the advancing 
enemy were heard, mingled with the blasts of their trum- 
\pets, and the trampling of the horses, making the ground 
to quake. In ihiQ beginning of the batde, the exiles who 
■were in the van fell on the royal army, in which were Earl 
Alan, the Earl of MeUent, with Hugh, the earl of East 
Anglia [Norfolk], and Earl Symon, and the Earl <rf Warrene, 
with so much impetuosity, that it was routed in the twink- 
ling of an eye, one part being slain, anotiiiCT taken prisoners, 
and the third put to flight The divi^oia commanded by 
the Earl of Albemarle and William de Ypres, charged the 
Welsh as they advanced on the flank, and completely routed 
them. But the fc^lowers of i^e Earl of Chester attacked 
this body of horse, and it was scattered in a moment like 
the rest. Thus all the king's horse fled, and with Ihem 
William of Ypre^ in Handers, who had raiiked as an earl, 
*and was a valiatit soldier; but, as an experienced general, 
perceiving the impossibility of supporting the lung, he 
deferred his aid lor better times. King St^hen, therefore, 
with his infantry, stood alone in the midst of i^e aiemy. 
These surrounded the royal troops, attacking the colunms 
on all sides, as if they were assaulting a castle. Then the 
battle raged terribly round this circle ; helmets and sworis 
gleamed as they clashed, and the fearful mes and shouts 
re-echoed from the neighbouring hills and the city walls. 
The cavalry, furiously charging the royal column, slew some 
and trampled down others; some were made prisoners, 
l^o respite, no breathing time, was allowed, excqst in the 
quarter in which the king himself had taken his stand, 
where the assailants recoiled from the unmatched force of 
his terrible arm. The Earl of Chester seeing this, and 
enVious of ^e glory the king was gaining, threw himself 
upon him with the whole weight of his men-at-arms. Even 
then the king's courage did not Ml, but his heavy battle-axe 
gleamed hke li^itmng, striking down some, bearing back 
others. At len^ it was afeattered by repeated bkjws ; then 
he drew his wefi-tried sword, with which he wrought won- 
ders, until that, too, was broken. Perceiving which, William 
Dekains ', a heave soldier, rushed on him, and, seizing him 
> Be Kidiakn^ V8S. Boyaattid AmdcL 



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280 HKNBY OF HUNTINODON. [BOOK VIII. 

by his helmet, shouted, " Here, here ; I have taken the 
king !" Others came to his aid, and the king was made 
prisoner. Baldwin, who had exhorted the troops, was aleo 
taken, having received many wounds, and, by his determined 
resistance, gained immortal honour. Richard Fitz-Urse 
was likewise made prisoner, who had also fought manfully 
and gained great glory. Until the king was taken his 
troops continued to fight, for they were so hemmed in that 
retreat was impossible. All were, therefore, slain or sur- 
rendered. The city was given up to plunder, according to 
the laws of war, the king having been conducted to it in 
miserable plight*. 

The judgment of God on King Stephen having thuh been 
executed, he was brought before the empress, and com- 
mitted to close custody in Bristol Castle. The whole 
EngUsh nation now acknowledged her as their sovereign^, 
except the men of Kent, who, with the Queen and William 
de Ypres, made all the resistance in ti|ieir power. The 
empress was first recognised by the Legate, bishop of Win- 
chester, and the Londoners. But she was elated with 
insufferable pride at the success of her adherents in the 
unceiiain vicissitudes of war, so that she alienated fi:om 
her the hearts of most men. Therefore, eitlier by some 
secret conspiracy, or by the providence of God — indeed, all 
human affairs are directed by Providence — she was driven 
out of London. Li revenge, with a woman's fcittemess, 
she caused the Lord's anointed to be bound with fetters ^ 
After some time she, with her uncle the King of the Scots, 

* This acconnt of the battle of Lincoln may be compared with William 
of Malmesbury's, at p. 515 of his works in Bohn's series, and with the 
** Gksta Stephani " in the sequel of the present Tolome. Of these Heory of 
Huntingdon's is the fullest and most exact. 

3 Henry of Huntingdon passes over yery briefly the eyents connected 
with the short period during which the Empress Maud was acknowle^^ 
queen of England, and giyes no account of her rupture with the Legate- 
bishop of Winchester. William of Malmesbury gives considerable details; 
and see hereafter further particulars in the " Acts of King Stephen." 

^ Malmesbury relates that Stephen was at first treated with every mark of 
honour, and, through the kindness of his relatiye Robert, earl of Gloucester, 
was not fettered — ^until, by bribing or eluding his keepers, he had been 
found beyond the appointed limits, especially in the nigh^time. 



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A.D. 1141, J KING STEPHEN LIBERATED. 281 

and her brother Eobert, collecting then* forces, sat down 
and besieged the castle of the Bishop of Winchester ^ The 
bishop summoned to his relief the queen, and William ot 
Ypres, and ahnost all the barons of England. Large 
armies were therefore assembled on both sides ; and there 
were daily engagements, not indeed regular battles, but 
desultory skirmishes. Li such encounters valiant deeds 
were not lost, as in the confusion of battle, but every man's 
gaJlantry was seen by all, and he gained renown according 
to his deserts. This interval was therefore universally 
pleasing, as exhibiting the splendour of their illustrious 
achievements. At length the arrival of the Londoners so 
increased the army opposed to the empress, that she was 
compelled to retreat ^. Many of her adherents were taken 
prisoners in their flight ; among others Kobert, her brother, 
in whose castle the king was imprisoned. His capture 
secured the king's release, by a mutual exchange. Thus 
the king who, by God's judgment, had been exposed to a 
painful captivity, was by God's mercy liberated; and the 
English people received him with great rejoicings. 

In the seventh year of his reign, King Stephen built a 
castle at Wilton, but the enemy assembled in numbers, 
and the royal troops not being able to repel them by the 
sallies they made, the king was compelled to make his 
escape. Many of his adherents were taken prisoners, among 
whom was William Martel, who gave up for Jiis ransom the 
strong castle of Sherboum. The same year the king 
besieged the empress at Oxford, from after Michaelmas till 
Advent. At the end of which, not long before Christmas, 
the empress escaped across the Thames, which was then 
frozen over, and, wrapped in a white cloak, deceived the 
eyes of the besiegers, dazzled by the reflection of the snow. 
She got into the castle of Wallingford, and Oxford was , 
surrendered to the king ^. 

' Savile's text reads " London/' but both tbe MSS. now collated baye 
"Winchester." 

* See a very circumstantial account of the siege of Winchester Castle, 
and the rout of the empress's army, in the '* Acts of King Stephen " in the 
present volume. 

' There is an interesting account of the escape of the empress in the 
** Acts of King Stephen." 



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882 HENBY OP HUHTINOI»K. [BOOK YlU. 

In the eighth year of las reign, King Stephen was preseat 
at a synod in London in Mid-Ijent, wludi was held there by 
the Legate-bishop of Wincdiester, on account of the -extre- 
mities to which the dergy were reduced. For no reject 
was paid to them or to Ghod's holy Church by maraud^s, 
and the clei^ were made prisoners, and submitted to 
ransom just as if th^ were laymen. The ^laod Iherefeve 
decreed that no one who laid '^oknt hands on a cleik 
fihould be absolved, except by the pqpe himself in p««an. 
This decree obtained for them some reKef. 

The same year the king arrested Godfrey de Mande- 
ville, in his court at *St. Alban*s, an act more fitting 1iie 
earl's deserts Ihan public right, more expedient than just. 
But if he had not taken this st^, the king would hare be^i 
driven from the throne. To obtain his liberty he surren- 
dered the Tower of London, and the castle of Walden, 
with that of Ressis. The eari, thus stripped of his pos- 
sessions, seized the Abbey of Bamsey, and, expelling the 
monks, garrisoned it with retainers, turning the house of 
God into a den of thieves. He was a man, indeed, of great 
determination, but resolute in ungodliness; diligent in 
worldly afl&iirs, but negligent in spiritual. The same year, 
before Giristmas, the Bishop of Winchester, and after- 
wards the Archbishop of Canteri}ury, w^it to Eome on the 
aflFah" of the appointment of the legate. Pope Innocent 
was then dead, and was succeeded by Oelestine. 

King Stephen in the ninth year of his reign laid siege to 
Lincottt. While he was preparing a work for the attack of 
the castle, which the Earl of Chester had taken possession 
of by force, eighty of his woifanen were suffocated in the 
trenches, whereupon the king broke up the siege in con- 
fusion. The same year Godfrey, earl erf Mandeville, gave 
the king mudh trouble, and distinguished himself more 
than others. Li the month of August, Providence displayed 
its justice in a remarkable manner ; for two of the nobles 
who had converted monasteries into fortifications, expelling 
the monks, their sin being the same, met with a similar 
pimishment. Robert Marmion was one, who had com- 
mitted this iniquity in the church of Coventry ; Godfrey de 
Mandeville had peipetrated the same, bs I have said be- 
fore, in Ramsey Abbey. Robert Marmion issuing %iih 



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A.D. 1143.] COYENTKT ABBEY C-AflTELLATED. y^SS 

agdnst the enemy was skin under the walls of the mcaaas- 
teiy, bemg the only one idio fell, though he was surrounded 
by his troops. Dying excommunicated, he became subject 
to deatii everlasting. In like manner Earl Oodfrey was 
singled out among his followers, and shot with an arrow by 
a common foot soldier. He made light of the wound, but 
he died of it in a few days, under excommunication. See 
here the like just judgment of God, memorable through all 
ages! While that abbey was conrerted into a fortress, 
blood exuded fiwm the walls of the church and the cloister 
adjoining, witnessing the divine indignation, and prognosti- 
cating the destruction of the impious. This was seen by 
many persons, and I observed it with my own eyes. How 
then can the wicked say that the Almighty sleeps? He 
woke indeed in this sign, and that whidi it signified. 
Moreover, the same year Amulf, the earl's son, who after 
his father's deatb continued in possession of the fortified 
abbey, was taken prisoner and banished, ajid the leader of 
his horsemen being thrown from his horse at hi& inn, died 
of a concussion of the brain. The commander of his foot 
soldiers, Keiner by name, who was employed in breaking 
open and binning churches, was crossing tbe sea with his 
wife, when, as many relate, the ship stock fest. The sailors, 
in amazement, cast lots to discover the cause of the strange 
occurrence, and the lot fell upon Seiner. He, however, 
vehemently resisting the decision, the lot was again cast, 
and a second and third time it fell to him. He was there- 
fore put in a boat, with his wife and tiie money he had 
iniquitously amassed, upon which the ship resumed its 
course rapidly, ploughmg tbe wares as it Jiad done before ; 
but the boat with its ungodly burthen was quiddy swatl- 
lowed up and for ever lost The same year Ludns was 
elected pope in the place of Celestine deceased. 

In the tenth year of King Stej^en, Hugh Bigod was the 
first to make a movement ; but in the summer £ad Bobert 
and the ijdiole body of the king's enemies set to wcwk to 
build a castle at Faringdon. The king lost no time in 
collecting troops and marching there at the head of a 
numerous and formidable body of Londoners- After daily 
assaults on the castle, while Earl Bobert and his adherents 
were, with great resolution, waiting for firesh forces not fer 



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284 HENBT OP HUNTINGDON. [BOOK VOI. 

from the king's anny, the castle was taken with much 
slaughter. At this time the king's fortune hegan to change 
for &e better^. The same year Alexander, bishop of Lin- 
coln, went to Rome, where he exhibited the same munifi- 
cence which he had done before. He was therefore honour- 
ably entertained by Pope Eugenius, who was recently 
elevated to his high dignity. The bishop's disposition 
was at all times courteous, his discretion dways just, his 
coimtenance good-humoured and cheerful. On his return 
the following year, in high favour with the pope and 
his whole court, he was received by his people with 
great reverence and joy. His church at Lincoln, which 
had been disfigured by a fire, he restored in so exquisite a 
style of architectiure, that it appeared more beautiful than 
when it was first built, and was surpassed by none in all 
England. 

King Stephen in the eleventh year of his reign assem- 

I bling a great army, built an impregnable castle at Walling- 

Iford, where Eanulph, earl of Chester, who had now joined 

I the royal side, was present with a large force. Afterwards, 

[however, when the earl came peaceabty to attend the king's 

I court at Northampton, fearing nothing of the sort, he was 

arrested and kept prisoner, till he gave up the strong castle 

of Lincoln, which he had seized by a stratagem, as well as 

afit.the other castles which belonged to him. Then the 

ead was set free to go where he pleased. 

In the twelfth year of King Stephen, he wore his crown 
during Christmas at Lincoln, which no king, from some 
superstitious feeling, had before ventured to do. This 
showed the great resolution of Kmg Stephen, and how 
little importance he attached to such superstitions.- After 
the king's departure, the Earl of Chester came to Lincoln 
with an armed force to assault the castle ; but the chief 
commander of his troops, a man of great courage and 
fortune, was slain at the entrance of the north gate of the 
town, and the earl himself, having lost many of his followers, 

' The powerful Earl of Chester came oyer to the king's side for a time, 
and great consternation prevailed among the adherents of the empress. 
This probably led to a meeting which now took place between her and Ste- 
phen ; but the treaty for a reconciliation was firuitless. See the ** Acts of 
king Stephen.'' 



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A J). 1147.] THE CBDSADB FAILS. 286 

was compelled to retreat ; upon which the citizens, rejoicing 
in their successful defence, offered signal thanks to the 
most hlessed Virgin, their patron and protectress. At 
"Whitsuntide Lewis, king of France, and Theodorie, earl of 
Flanders, and the Count de St. Egidius, with an immense 
multitude from every part of France, and numbers of 
the EngUsh, assmned the cross and joiurneyed to Jerusalem, 
intending to expel the Infidels who had taken the city of 
Rohen. A still greater number accompanied Com'ad, 
emperor of Germany ; and both armies passed through the 
territories of the Emperor of Constantinople, who afterwards 
betrayed them. In iJie month of August, Alexander, bishop 
of Lincoln, proceeded to Auxerre to meet Pope Eugenius, 
who, after some stay at Paris, was residing there. He 
was honourably entertained by the pope, but from the 
extraordinary heat of the weather the seeds of a low fever 
were sown in his constitution, and he brought it with him 
to England. Shortly afterwards he fell into a state of 
infirmity and languor, which ended in death. 

Alexander, bishop of Lincoln, died in the thirteenth year 
of King Stephen's reign, and was buried at Lincoln towards 
the end of Lent. Of the character of this prelate, following 
the example of Moses, I will say nothing that is not true. 
Nurtured in great affluence by his uncle Robert, bishop of 
Salisbiuy, he contracted habits which were beyond his 
means. Rivalling, therefore, other men of rank in his mu- 
nificence and the splendour of his appointments, his own 
incomings being inadequate to his expenditure, he care- 
ftilly drew from his friends the means by which, comparing 
his wants with the superfluity in which he was bred, the 
deficiency might be supplied. But this was out of the 
power of one who the more he had the more he gave. He 
was at the same time a man of prudence, though so gene- 
rous, that in the court of Rome he was smuamed the 
Magnificent^. 

The same year the armies of the Emperor of Germany 
and the King of France were annihilated, though they were 
led by illustrious commanders, and had commenced their 

* Our author dedicated his History to this bishop. Some account of him 
is given in a note appended to Huntingdon's PreBeice to the History. 



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286 HENRI OF HUNTIHGDON. [BOOK VHI. 

mai>ch in the proodost confidence. But God desjHsed 
them, and their incontinence came up before Him ; for 
they abandoned thems^ves to open fearoieation. and to 
adulteries hateful to €rod, and to robb^y and every sort of 
wickedness. First they were wasted by famine, through 
the false conduct of the Emperor of Constantinople ; and 
afterwards they were destroyed by the enemy's sword. The 
king and the emperor took re&ge at Antioch, and after- 
wards at Jerusalem, with the remnant of their followers ; 
and the King of France, wishing to do something to restore 
his character, laid siege to Damascus, having the assistance 
of the Knights Templars oi Jerusalem, and a force collected 
from all quarters. But wanting the favour of God, and 
therefore having no success, he returned to France. Mean- 
while a naval armament, containing no men of rank, and 
trusting in no leader of renown, but in God only, beginning 
humbly, prospered greatly. For though few in number, 
and opposed by a numerous force, God. being their helper, 
they reduced to subjection the city of Lisbon in Spain, 
with another place ciiled Almeria, and aU the neighbouring 
country. Thus truly " God resisteth the proud, and givetk 
grace to the humble." For the army of the King of France 
and the Emperor of Germany was more numerous and 
splendid than that which had formerly besieged and taken 
Jerusalem ; but, notwithstanding, it was crushed by inferior 
numbers, and destroyed . and disappesured like a spider's 
web. But the humble expedition of which I have just 
spoken ovOTcame. aR who opposed it, however great their 
multitude. The largest part of it was supplied from 
England. 

The same year, at the approach of Christmas, Robert^ 
sumamed De Querceto^, the young archdeacon of Leices- 
ter, a man worthy of all praise, was chosen bishop of Lin- 
coln. He was esteemed by aU men worthy of this great 
dignity, and the king, the clergy, and the people joyfully 
assenting, he was consecrated by the Archbishop of Canter- 
bury. Anxiously expected, his arrival at Lincoln was wel- 
comed [on our Lord's Epiphany] ^ by the clergy and people^ 
with great reverence and rejoicings. May God prosper 

1 Called also " Be Cfaakney^." 

^ The wordt trithm brackets azdn tbe Baynl MS; only* 



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AO). 1148.] HENBY (il) AMD EUSTACE KNIGHTED. 2&7 

him in these evil times, and cheer his youth with the dew 
of wisdom, and make his face to shine with holy joy ^ ! 

In the fourteenth year of King Stephen's reign David, 
king of Scots, knifed, his nephew Henry. As during this 
sdenmity a Ifoge force was aasemhled, David being nume- 
rously attended, and his nephew having in his retinue the 
nobles of the west of England, King Stephen was alarmed 
lest they should proceed to attack York; he therefore 
estabhshed himself in that city with a large army, and 
remained there all the month of August Meanwhile 
Stephen's son Eusteoe, who was also Imighted the same 
year, made an irruption into ihe territories of the barons 
who were in attendance on Henry, the empress's son, and, 
as there was no one to oppose him, he laid them waste 
with fire and sword. But the kings of England and Scot- 
land, the one at York, the other at Cachsle, fearing a 
rupture, mutually avoided meeting, and thus separated 
peaceably, each to his home. 

King Stephen, in the fifteenth year of his reign, collecting 
troops, made a brilliant assault on the city of Worcester, 
and, having taken it, committed it to the flames ; but he 
was imable to reduce the castle which overlooked the city. 
It belonged to Waleran, earl of Mellent, to whom King 
Stephen had granted it much to his own disadvantage. 
The royal army, hanging plundered the city, overran &e 
territories of the hostile lords, an|i, no one resisting them, 
carried off an immense booty. 

In the sixteenth year of the king's reign, Theobald, arch- 
bishop of Canterbury and legate apostolical, held a general 
synod at London, in the middle of Lent, at which were 
present King Stephen, with his son Eustace, and the great 
men of England. Its jMroceedings were disturbed by new 
appeals, loudly preferred. They were not in use in Eng- 
land until Henry, bishop of Winchester, while he was 
legate, m^cilessly introduced them, as it turned out to his 

* This bishop of Lincoln, of whom the Archdeacon, now an old man, 
speaks so affectionately, was the third he had been contemporary with in 
that see. Here Henry of Huntingdon's History ooncludefr in the Arundel 
MS., and there is the- fbllowing note in the Royal MS. : **■ Many copies have' 
no more;" We may condade, therefore^ thai what fallows is a continuation 
afterwards added to the trork, and whieh did not find it» way into the 
eariier copies. 



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a88 HENRY OP HUKTINGDON. [BOOK VOT. 

own injury. In the present synod there were three appeals 
to the judgment of the Roman pontiff. The same year. 
King Stephen again attacked Worcester^; and, having been 
unable to reduce the castle the year before, he now assaulted 
it with the utmost determination. The garrison making 
an obstinate resistance, he constructed two forts to cover 
the attack, and leaving some of his nobles there he himself 
departed. But it was the king's habit to undertake many 
projects with zeal, but to pursue them indolently; and 
now by the management of the Earl of Leicester, who was 
brother of the Earl of Mellent, the two forts erected by the 
king were demolished, and the siege was skilftdly raised : 
thus the king's project failed, and his labour was lost. 
The same year, itie Earl of Anjou, brother-in-law of the 
late King Henry, and son of the King of Jerusalem, a man 
of great eminence, ended his days. He left to Henry, his 
eldest son, Anjou and Normandy, together with the here- 
ditary right to the kingdom of England, which he had 
never reduced to possession. It now happened also that 
Lewis, king of France, was divorced from his wife, the 
daughter of the Earl of Poitou, by reason of alleged con- 
sanguinity. Henry, therefore, the young duke of Nor- 
mandy, married her, and with her obtained the county of 
Poitou, a great accession to his honours and .power. But 
the marriage caused great dissensions, fomented into hatred, 
between the King of France and the duke. 

Upon this, Eustace, King Stephen's son, with the King 
of France, made formidable attacks on Nprmandy, while 
the duke obstinately resisted both of them, and the whole 
strength of the French army. However, the king, collect>- 
ing all his large forces, assaulted an almost impregnable 
castle called Neuf-Marche, which he took and gave up^ to 
Eustace, son of the King of England, who had married his 
sister. 

King Stephen, in his seventeenth year, wished^ to have 
his son Eustace crowned*, and he required Theobald, arch- 

* The text of Savile reads " Wincheater ; " but it is clearly an error, inde- 
pendently of the authority of the Eoyal MS., which has ** Worcester." 

.« Savile, reddidit ; Eoyal MS., tradidit. * Eoyal MS., "proposed." 

* Eustace died the following year. — Roger de Wendover, The anony- 
mous author of '' The Acts of King Stephen" speaks highly of his character. 



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A.D. 1152.] HENRT [n.] LANDS IN ENGLAND. 289 

bishop of Canterbmy, and the other bishops whom he had 
assembled with that design, to anoint him king, and give 
him their solemn benediction ; but he met with a repulse, 
for the pope had by his letters prohibited the archbishop 
from crowning the king's son, because King Stephen 
appeared to have broken his oath of fealty in mounting 
the throne. Upon this, both father and son, greatly disap- 
pointed and incensed, ordered the bishops to be shut up 
together, and by threats and hardships endeavoured to 
compel them to comply with their demand. But although 
they were very much alarmed, for Stephen never much 
liked the bishops, and had some time before imprisoned 
two of them\ tiiey remained firm in spite ^ of the danger 
they incurred. However, they escaped imhurt in their 
persons, though they were deprived of their possessions, 
which the king afterwards penitentially restored. The 
same year, the king besieged and reduced the castle of 
Newbiuy, not far from Winchester. He then laid siege to 
the castle of Wallingford, building a fort, to beleaguer it, 
on the bridge at the entrance, which prevented all ingress, 
so that provisions could not be introduced. Beginning to 
feel the pressure, they petitioned their lord the Duke of 
Normandy that he would either send them relief, or that 
they might have licence to surrender the castle into the 
king's hands. 

In the eighteenth year of King Stephen, the Duke of 
Normandy, impelled by the necessity of the case, made a 
sudden descent on England. That wretched country, be- 
fore reduced to ruin, but now regaining new life by the 
prospect of his coming to her assistance, may be supposed 
to address him, weeping, in such language as this : — 

Heir to thy grandslre's name and high renown. 
Thy England calls thee, Henry, to her throne : 
Now, Men from her once imperial state, 
Exhausted, helpless, mined, desolate. 
She sighs her griefs, and fainting scarcely liyea: 
One solitary hope alone survives. 

* See before, p. 270. 

' The rending in the margin of Savile*s text, confirmed by the Royal MS., 
IS here followed. The word " nihil," omitted in the printed text, gives it 
a different turn. 

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290 HENRY OF HUHTINGDON. . [BOOK Till. ^ 

She tnrnt to thee her dim and leeble eye, 

Bat scarce can raiae the suppliant's plaintive cry ; 

** Save me, oh save me I Henry ; or I die : 

Come, saviour, to thy own ; by right divine < ' 

Fair England's royal diadem is thme." .1, 

What dawning light bursts tlurangh the loiid ^looml 

Wlwt echoing shout resounds, '' I oom^^ I come ) " 

Who stands on Normandy's wave-beaten stcaad, 

List'ning to voices from his fathers' land? 

*T is he, the duke, the flower of chivalry. 

His mien commanding, lightning in his eye ; 

Scarce twenty summers mantle o'er his brow, i 

Tet hoary years no wiser gifts bestow : J 

And hark ! with life-reviving words he cries, 1 

" Eise from thy death-swoon, prostrate England, rise ! " 

1, 
High on her beetling clifh the island queen 
Bedc ning her hero to the shore is seen. 
As the fierce tempest's baffling surge he braves : 
And thus her voice comes hoarsely o'er the waves ; j 

** I breathe, I live again at thy command ; 
But ah ! how few thy barks, how small thy band ! 
Before thee, Stephen's countless hosts advance. 
Behind thee, low*rs the mighty pow'r of Prance." 
" Fear not for me," the hero answering cried, ^j 

** Be mine the glory, mine the noble pride, **i 

Though kings o'er hosts their flaunting banners fliug, j 

Conquering with few, to earn the name of kfcg." I 

" What banner thine 1 Fain would my aching eye 

Midst baffling winds its bright device descry." 

" Thy own red-cross, proud England, leads me on^ ^ 

To fields where glory, freedom, shall be won ; 

Fit emblem ours to consecrate the fight. 

Of suffering innocence with lawless might. ^ 

I come to cause the tyrant's rule to cease. 

And o'er the gasping land spread smiling peace ; ^^^ 

Land of my sires ! thy blest deliverer be. 

And, Christ me aiding, give thee liberty. 

Or lifeless on thy blood-stained soil to lie. 

For thee to conquer, or for thee to die." \ 

"When now the illustrious duke, making ihe passage in a ^ 
violent gale, was landed on the English shore, flie kingdom 
was suddenly agitated by ihe mutterings of rumours, like a ^ 
quivering bed of reeds swept by the blasts of the wind. 
^Reports, as usual, rapidly spreading, disseminated znattear 



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A.D. 1152.] HENBT'b SlKX^EaBlSS. ^dl 

of joy and exultation to stnne, of fear and sorrow to others. 
But the delight of those who rejoiced ut his arrival was 
somewhat abated by the tidings that he had so few fol- 
lowers \ while the apprehensions of their enemies were by 
the same reports not a little relieved. Both parties weuB 
struck at his encountering the dangers of a tempestuoiKi 
sea in mid-winter ; what the one considered intrepidity, the 
other called rashness. But the brave young prince, of all 
things disliking delay, collected his adherents, both those 
he found and those he brought with him, and laid siege to 
Malmesbury Castled The excellences of such a man are 
«o many and gi-eat that they must not be enlarged upon, 
lest the extended narrative of his achievements should lead 
to wearisome prolixity. In short, then, having invested 
this castie, for he was not long in executing wlmt he imder- 
took, he presentiy took it by storm. After the place was 
taken, the strong keep, which could only be reduced by 
famine, was still held for the king by Jordan, who sallied 
from it, and, making all haste, informed him of what had 
taken place. Disturbed by messengers of the evil tidings, 
the king's coimtenance changed from dignity to grief; 
nevertheless, he lost no time in collecting all his forces, 
and pitched his camp near Malmesbmy. The day after his^ 
arrival, iie drew out his army in batde array. It included 
a great body of distinguished knights, and made a splendid 
and formidable appearance, with its noble chiefs, and their 
banners glittering with gold ; but God was not with them, 
in whom only there is entire safety. Foi- the floodgates of 
heaven were opened, and heavy rain drove in their faces, 
with violent gusts of wind and severe cold, so that God 
himself appeared to fight for the duke. The royal army, 
however, marched in good order, though suffering greatiy,. 
and contending with the elements, which seemed to be ia 
aroK against them. The young dukes army trusted more 

* Roger of Wendoier says that Henry broxiglit with him a fleet ot M 
sail and a laige army. 

' The '' Acts of King Stephen" represent the young prince as having on 
.his first hinding attacked successively Oricklade and Bourton, from both of 
which places he was repulsed ; after which his force dwindled away, and he 
was reduced to great extremities. Roger of Wendover says he took Malmes- 
bory on the ere of the Epiphany, and then besieged Omwniarsh, near 
WjlHin^. 

u a 



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293 HENRY OF HUNTINGDON. [BOOK Vm. 

to its valour than its numbers, but its especial dependence 
was on the mercy of God and the justice of the cause for 
which it stood in arms. It was drawn up on the bank of a 
stream of water, not far from the walls of the town just 
named, which was so flooded by the torrents of rain and 
snow that no one could venture to ford it without shrink- 
ing from the attempt, and, once committed to the current, 
there was no gauiing the bank. The young and illustrious 
duke was at the head of his troops in splendid armour, 
which set off his noble person, so that we may say his 
arms did not so much become him as he his arms. * He 
and his followers had the tempest of wind and rain at their 
backs, while it drove in the faces of the king and his army, 
so that they could hardly support their armour and handle 
their spears, dripping with wet. It was the Almighty's 
design that his child should gain possession of the kingdom 
without the effusion of blood ; so that when neither party 
could cross the river, and the king could no longer endure 
the severity of the weather, he marched back to London, 
his operations having failed, and his discomfiture being com- 
plete. The tower, therefore, which tbe duke was besieging, 
being speedily surrendered, he lost no time in following out 
with alacrity his main object of marching to the relief of 
the garrison of Wallingford Castle, now almost exhausted by 
famine. Having collected a large body of troops to convey 
a supply of provisions to the beleaguered garrison, he 
effected his design without opposition, under favour of 
Providence ; for tiiough there were several castles in the 
neighbourhood held by strong parties of the king's troops, 
they offered him no molestation either in going or return- 
ing. This having been speedily accomplished, the valiant 
duke, assembling all the militia of the country, which 
flocked to his standard, laid siege to the castle of Craw- 
marsh, commencing the difficult and important enterprise 
by diggirg a deep trench round the walls and his own 
camp, so that his army had no egress but by the castle of 
Wallingford, and the besieged had none whatever. Upon 
hearing this, tlie king, assembling the whole force he could 
muster tliroughout his territories, seriously threatened the 
duke's position. But the duke, imder no alarm, though 
his forces were inferior to the king's, caused the work 



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A.D. 1153.] TRUCE WITH KIXG STEPHEN. 293 

•which he had thrown up for the protection of his camp to 
he levelled, and, raising the siege, marched in good order 
against the enemy. The royal troops, when, unexpectedly, 
they perceived the duke's army drawn up in battle array in 
their front, were struck with a sudden panic, but the king, 
not disheartened, gave orders that his troops should march 
from their camp prepared for battle. Then the traitorous 
nobles interfered, and proposed among themselves terms of 
peace. They loved, indeed, nothing better than disunion ; 
but they had no inclination for war, and felt no desire to 
exalt either the one or the other of the pretenders to the 
crown, so that by humbling his rival they themselves 
might become entirely subject to the other. They pre- 
ferred that, the two being in mutual fear, the royal autiiority 
should, with respect to themselves, be kept in abeyance. 
The king and the duke, therefore, being sensible of the 
treachery of their adherents, were reluctantly compelled to 
make a truce between themselves. God, as usual, was the 
protector of the young duke. The royal camp to which he 
had laid siege was raised in consequence oflhe truce ; and 
the king and the duke had a conference without witnesses, 
across a rivulet, on the terms of a lasting accommodation 
between themselves, during which the faitiilessness of their 
nobles w£is anxiously considered. At this meeting the 
business of the treaty was only entered upon, its comple- 
tion being deferred to another opportunity. After each 
had returned to his quarters, their quarrel still unsettled, 
light dawned from an unexpected quarter on the fortunes 
of the great duke. For it happened that his two most 
determined and powerful enemies, Eustace, the king's son, 
and Simon, esirl of Northampton, were suddenly snatched 
away, Providence so ordering it, at the same moment ; in 
consequence of which the hopes and the courage of all who 
were opposed to the duke vanished at once. Earl Simon, 
who exemplified all that was licentious, and practised all 
that was unbecoming, was bmied at Northampton. The 
king's son was buried in the abbey foimded by his mother 
at Feversham ; a good soldier, but an ungodly man, who 
dealt harshly with the rulers of the church, being their 
determined persecutor. The Almighty having removed 
these formidable adversaries of Heniy, his beloved, He had 



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S{04* HBNHT OF HUNTIKGDOir, [bOOK vm. . 

now in his mercy prqMured the way for Ma reigning, m. 
tranquillity. 

The third siege tmdertaken was that of Staoaford. The 
ttrwn sorrendered mmtediatelyy but the garrison of thei 
castle resisted, and sent messengers to ^be king intreatiiig; 
his aid agamst the besiegers^ At that time t^ king. had. 
laid siege to the oasde of Ipswidi^ which Ht^h Bigod held' 
against him, and being imwHlmg to raise ^e siege and. 
relieve the garrison of Staoaiford, that castle was snurendered. 
to Prince Henry, while Ipswich was given up to the king. 
The Buke of Ifonnaady, departing^from Stamford, mardied 
to Nottingham, whieh he took possessionem; buttheenemy^ 
who held the castle, set the town on fire [amd the duke was 
so afflicted at the burning of the town, th^t he drew off his 
atrtny].^ 

Meanwhile, Archbishop Thec^)ald had frequ^it consuka^ 
tioirs with the king, in which he ui^d him to come to^ 
terms with the duke, with whom also he communicated by 
messengers. He foimd a coadjutor in Henry, bishop of, 
Winchester, who had taken the lead in disturbing the king- 
dom, by giving the crown to his brother Stephen, Of th^ 
he now repented, and finding the whole kingdom desolated 
by robbery, ^oce^ Mid slaughter, he proposed to find a re- 
medy in the concord of 3ie chiefs. More especially, the 
providence of God, whidi makes peace, and is the givor 
of good, withdrew the scourge whieh tormented England, 
causing their imdertaking to prosper, so that by its blessing, 
on their efforts the peace was solemnly ratified. What 
boundless joy, what a day of rejoicing, when the king himr 
self led the iUustrioos young prince through the streets of 
Winchester, with a splendid procession of bishops and 
nobles, and amidst the acclamations of the thronging 
people ; for the king received him as his son by adoption, 
and acknowledged him heir to the crown! Erom thence he 
accompanied the king to London, where he was received 
with no less joy by the people assembled in countless 
numbers^ and by billliant processions, as was fitting for so 
great a prince. Thus, though God's mercy,, a&er a night 
o( misery, peace dawned on the ruined realm of Englsmd. 

I The* words vnMa tb& Imekets^aKe iaserted fimm tb« B«yid MS* 



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A;D. 1154.] HENRY RETOMW TO NORMANDY. ^^ 

These rejokings end6<i, the king and his new son parted, 
soon to meet again; fbr the pea«e yms ratified before^ 
Christ&iaB, and on the oeta^t^ of the I^iphany they met^ 
ait Oxford. The duke had thmi just sp^t a yeaa* in the 
oonqaest, yeta, rather, the reeovery, of England. There all 
the great men of ^e realm, by the king's command, did' 
HiMdage, and {»^mised the fesdty due to their liege lord ta 
the Duke of Normandyv saving only their allegiance to 
King Ste{4ien during his life. New rejoicings toc^ place 
at this magnificent assembly, after which all departed mth 
joy a&d g^dness to their homes. After a short interval 
tl^eire was another meeting at Dimstable, where a slight 
oioitd. overshadowed the day of gladness ; ifbr the duke was 
cUsBaitiBfied that the castles, which after the death of King 
Henry were built in every part of the country with the 
"mast designs, had not been demolished, according to the 
provisions of the trea^ so solemnly made and ratified. 
Some of them indeed had been razed, but others were 
^ored, by the indulgence or the policy of the king, and 
this £q)peared to weaken the obligations of the treaty. 
Upon the duke's complaining of it to the king, he met widi 
a repulse ; but, wishing to preserve a good imderstanding 
with his new father, he reluctantly deferred the matter, 
lest it ^ould disturb their concord, and they parted ami- 
cably. Not long afterwards, the duke, having obtained the 
king's Ucence, returned to Normandy, flushed with his 
success. 

These were the acts of Henry, the most illustrious of 
}'ouths, diuing his second visk to England. Let me not 
be censured for having committed to writing so few par- 
ticulars of his splendid career \ Having to tell of so many 
and great kings, and the series of events for many ages, if 
I had attempted to give fiilness to my History I must have 
written volumes. I have, therefore, chosen rather to collect 
into one volume an abridgment of history, so that posterity 
may not be altogether ignorant of former events. I now 

The anonymous author of the " Acts of King Stephen ** represents the 
campsign of Henry II. after his landing in England, and the character ol 
the young prince, altogether in a different light. See the account towards 
the oloBe of Stephen's reign in the latter part of this volume. 



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296 HENRY OF HUKTINGDON. [BOOK Vm. 

return to my subject. Eetuming into France triumphant, 
the duke was joyfully received by his mother and brothers, 
and the people of Normandy, Anjou, Maine, and Poitou, 
-with the honours due to him. King Stephen, also, now 
for the first time reigning in peace, was, thanks to his 
adopted son, powerful enough to maintain the authority of 
his royal station. But O ! the desperate fury of mortals ! 
O their imaccountable perversity! Certain sons of men, 
" whose teeth were spears and arrows, and their tongue a 
sharp sword," made zealous attempts to sow the seeds of 
discord between the king who was present and the duke at 
a distance. The king could hardly resist their persuasions, 
and some thought he was already yielding to them, and 
that he listened to their evil coimsels with a secret pleasure, 
amdi though he affected to discountenance them, more than 
was right. But the counsels of these sons of men were 
one thing, the counsels of the Almighty another ; and He, 
as was fitting, perfected his own, and made the counsels of 
the wicked and their perverse machinations of no effect- 
The king having besieged and taken the castle of Drake, 
near York, and triumphantly taken and razed many other 
castles, he went to Dover, to hold a conference with tlie 
Earl of Flanders. While talking with him, the king fell 
sick ; of which sickness he died eight days before the feast 
of All Saints [•24th of October], after a distracted and un- 
Ibrtimate reign of nineteen years. He was interred in the 
abbey of Feversham, near his wife and son. Theobald, 
archbishop of Canterbmy, with many of the English nobles, 
dispatched messengers in all haste to tlieh' now lord the 
Diike of Normandy, intreating him to come over without 
delay, and receive the crown of England. Hindered, how- 
ever, by contrary winds and a stormy sea, as well as other 
circumstances, it was not till six days before Christmas 
that, accompanied by his wife and brothers, with a retinue 
of great nobles and a strong force, he landed in the New 
Forest. England, therefore, was left for six weeks without 
a king ; but by God's providence it was in perfect tranquil- 
lity, tiie love or the fear of the expected king securing it. 
Upon his landing he proceeded to London, and, ascending 
the throne of England, was crowned and consecrated with 



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A.D. 1154.] HENRY H. INAUGURATED. 297 

becoming pomp and splendour, amidst universal rejoicings, 
which many mingled with tears of joy. The happiness of 
this period I have thus described in heroic verse : — 

Low lies the head that wore fair England'a crown, 

Henry delays * to mount the vacant throne ; 

Tet marvel not that wars and tumults cease, 

And factious strife is hushed in waiting peace. 

Stephen grasped feebly, through his troubled reign. 

What absent Henry's name, alone, can gain : 

If such when ling'ring in a foreign land. 

What with the reins of empire in his hand ? 

If thus the early dawn with distant light 

Can pierce the clouds and chase the shades of night, 

What then the glory when the noontide sun 

Pours its full radiance from the zenith won ? 

Then shall beam forth, in England's happier hour. 

Justice with mercy, and well-balanced power ; 

Unblemished loyalty, and honour bright. 

And love with chastened pleasure shall unite. 

Such gems shall sparkle in thy jewelled crown. 

And deck it with a lustre all thy own. 

Fresh genial warmth shall burst the icy chain. 

In which, benumbed and bound, the land has lain ; 

England with tears of joy shall lift her head. 

And thus shall hail her saviour from the dead : 

** A thing of earth — a lifeless body mine; 

The soul, the vivifying spirit, thine ; 

He-entering now the frame inanimate, 

The soul shall, out of death, new life create." 

[The accession of a new king demands a new Book.]^ 

1 '' Henry's power was so well established in England, that he continued 
and concluded the siege of a castle which he was investing before he came 
over." — Huine* 

' Savile's printed text of the history concludes with the verses ; but 
the sentence within the brackets follows in the Boyal MS., in the same 
handwriting as the rest of the History ; whence it may be inferred that 
it waf Henry of Huntingdon's intention to add another Book, in continua- 
tion, containing some account of the reign of Henry II. It is probable that 
he did not long survive that king's accession, and death thus frustrated his 
design. There is a short continuation added to the Eoyal MS. in a different 
hand, as follows : — " This Henry II., son of the Countess of Anjou, 
reigned xxxiv. years. Enacting unjust laws, he was opposed by St. Thomas 
of Canterbury, who received the crown of martyrdom. He crowned his 
son Henry, who was called Henry III., in his own lifetime ; but he died 
before his father. Henry II. had four sons by Eleanoi^ viz. Henry III., 
Bichard, John, and Geoffrey, whose son Arthur was muraered by John." 



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1 



A 



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HENRY, 
ARCHDEACON OF HUNTINGDON, 



OH 

CONTEMPT OF THE WOBLD; 

OB ON 

THE BISHOPS AND OTHER ILLUSTRIOUS MEN OF HIS AGE. 
IN A LETTER TO WALTER. 

lOBMIHa OBIOINALLT IHS SIOHTH BOOK OF HIS HI8T0BT. 



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HENRY OF HUNTINGDON'S 

LETTER TO WALTER!. 



Walter^ my friend, once the flower of our youth and the 
ornament of om' times, now alas! you are worn by a 
lingering disease, and languish under a painful disorder. 
When we were in the prime of our age, I dedicated to you 
a Book of poetical epigrams, and I fidso proflFered for your 
acceptance a poem which I composed on love. Such 
trifles were fitting our youth, but now that we are old men 
what I offer you is becoming our years. I have, therefore, 

' In the MSS. which have been collated, this epistle, with three others, 
form the Eighth Book of Henry of Huntingdon's History. The first 
edition, so to speak, of the History concluding with the reign of Henry I., 
in the year 1135, the epistle, which was written in that year, and treats 
principally of persons connected with the narrative of the Seventh Book, 
was a regular sequel to it. In the original order, the Ninth Book comprised 
an account of the miracles related by Bede ; and afterwards Huntingdon 
composed a Tenth Book, continuing his History through the reign of Stephen 
to the accession of Henry II. But it appears that the transcribers of the 
HSS. still contimied to insert the epistles and the account of the miracles as 
the Eighth and Ninth Books, though these interrupted the progress of the 
History, which proceeds consecutively from the reign of Henry I., with 
which the first edition closed, to the reign of Stephen, which is the subject 
of Huntingdon's continuation of his work in his last Book. Sir Henry 
Savile, in his, which was the first, printed edition of Huntingdon's history, 
calls this the Eighth Book; stating that some MSS. omit the two intervening 
ones, which he did not publish. Not to interrupt the tenor of the narrative, 
I have followed Savile's arrangement ; but for the reasons given in the Pre- 
£Eice, I have thought it desirable to add the " Epistle to Walter " as an ap- 
pendix to the History.. 

' Savile states that Walter was Archdeacon of Oxford. Henry of Hun- 
tingdon does not insert his name in the list of dignitaries of the church of 
Lincoln, given in this epistle ; but that may be accounted for from its being 
addressed to Walter himself 



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803 HENRY OF HUNTINODON's 

•written something on the contempt of the world, for your 
use and my own, which may occupy your hours of languor, 
and to which I myself may recur with profit I do not 
intend a rhetorical or philosophical dissertation ; the pages of 
holy writ speak throughout of this one thing in a voice of 
authority, and the philosophers have made it their earnest 
study ; but I shall treat the subject in the simplest manner, 
so as to make it plain to the mulUtude, that is, the un- 
learned, and to draw from what has passed imder our own 
observation, reasons for contemning, now that we are old 
men, what is really contemptible. I will not, therefore, 
have recourse to former Histories ; I shall relate nothing l^t 
has been tcdd before, but only what is within my own 
luiowledge, the only evidence which can be deemed au- 
thentic. But if the great names of our times should 
appear uncouth to posterity, or my treatise should seeiji 
indigested and wandering, and be considered wearisome, 
because so many such names are introduced, at least it 
may be profitable to you and myself. 

The Jirst chapter shall have reference to matters concern- 
ing our Church. As, then, in youth the seeds of aU 
manner of vices bud luxuriantly, that which rears itself 
most vigorously, and overtops the rest, is the love of this 
j^reseni world. But from the simplicify natuml to the age, 
youtii is free from many errors, such as scepticism, fickle- 
ness, and the like, while the tendency I have spoken of, 
being more seductive than ihe rest, abides and ^ins 
strength. As age advancea, things which once charmied 
lose ^ir relish, and ihe sweet becomes bitter. Evil haHts 
fasten on ihe mind, as with a hook which cannot be eartau- 
cated ; and men are led captive by tiie love of wealth and 
of fleeting pleasures. This I have leami by my own expe- 
rience. For when I was a mere dhild, m my growing up, 
and while I was a young man, I had opportunities of elos^ 
observing the splendour in whicii our Bishop Kobert lived?-*. 

' Robert de Bloet, bishop of Lincoln, in whose hooiebold Hemy was 
broag^ht up from his eaxiiest yean. We have here a lively picture of the 
sumptnoiis mode of living of the great ecclesiastics of those times. Bishop 
Bobert was also jnatidary of all Eafland, and much employed by Henry I. 
in secular afiairs. See the preceding History, p. 2fi0« 



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XETTEE TO WAISES. SOS 

I saw hk Tetinue of gallant knights and noble youths ; his 
horses c^ price, his vessefe of gold or of silver-gilt ; the 
splendid array of his plate, Ihe gorgeousnese of his servi- 
tors ; the fine linen and purple robes, and I Ihought within 
myself that nothing oould be more 'bhssfial. Whai, more- 
over, all the world, eveji those who had learnt in the sdiools 
the emptiness of sucn things, were obsequious to him, and 
he was looked up to as the father and lonl of all, it was no 
wonder that he valued hi^y his worldly advantages. If at 
that time any one had told me that this splendour which 
we all admired ought to be held in contempt, with what face, 
in what temper, should I have heard it? I should have 
thou^t hhn more insensate than Orestes, more querulous 
than Thersites. It appeared to me that nothing could 
exceed happiness so exalted. But when I became a man, 
and heard the scurrilous language T^^ch was addressed to 
him, I felt that I shoidd have fainted if it had been used to 
me, who had nothing, in such a presence. Then I began 
to value tess what I had before so highly esteemed. 

It is very common for worldly men to experience the 
most painful reverses before the end of their career. I will 
relate what happened to Bishop Eobert before his death. 
He, who had been Justiciary of all England, and univei'- 
sally feared, was in the last year of his life twice impleaded 
by the king before an ignoble judge, and both tim^ con- 
demned with disgrace in heavy penalties. His anguish of 
mind in consequence was such, Ihat I saw biirn i^ed teaas 
during dinner, while I, then his archdeacon, was sitting 
near him. On the cause being adted, he replied, "For- 
merly my own attendants were sumptuously apparelled ; 
but now the fines extorted from me by the king, whoae 
favour I have always cultivated, serve to clothe a baae 
crew." Afber this, he so entirely despaired of the ipyAl 
fevour, Ihat when some one repeated to him the high com- 
mendations which the king had made of him in his absemse, 
he exclaimed, " The king praises no one whom he has not 
resolved utterly to ruin." For King Henry, if I may ven- 
ture to say so, practised consummate duplicity, and his 
designs were inscrutable. A few days afterwards the bishop 
was at Woodstock, where the king had appointed a great 



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804 HENBY OF Huntingdon's 

hunting-match; and while conversing with the king and 
the Bishop of Salisbury, the two prelates being the greatest 
men in the kingdom, our Bishop [of Lincola] was struck 
with apoplexy. He was carried speechless to his inn, and 
there presently expired in the king's presence^. Then the 
powerftil monarch whom he had always faithfully served, 
whom he both loved and feared, whose favour he highly 
valued, and in whom he once placed such confidence, could 
not help him in his last extremity. "Cursed be he that 
trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm."* When, 
therefore, the child, or the stripling, or the young man 
looks up to those who are at the summit of fortune, let 
them recollect how uncertain may be their end, and that 
even in this world affliction may come upon and consume 
them. Bishop Kobert was humane and humble, he raised 
the fortunes of many, and crushed no one's ; he was the 
orphan's father, and beloved by all who surrounded him ; 
but we have seen what was his end. 

Something should be said of his predecessor Bfemi', who 
came to England with William the First, and was present 
in his wars. He was raised to the bishopric of Dorchester 
by that king, and changing its seat to Lincoln, he foimded 
our church tliere, endowed it with ample possessions, and 
attached to it men of worth. I speak only of what I have 
seen and heard. Him, indeed, I never saw, but I knew all 
the venerable men to whom he gave appointments in his 
new church. I will mention a few of the number. He 
chose Ralph, a venerable priest, for dean, and appointed 
Rayner treasurer, whose place is now filled by his nephew 
Geoffrey. Rayner was so pious a man, that he often 
chaunted psalms over the tomb which he had built to 
receive his remains, and there prepared himself by con- 
tinual prayers for his eternal home ; that when the days 
of his devotion were ended, and he was laid there, he 
might be partaker of the mercy of God. Felix was an 

> The Saxon Obronicle adds some little details, which Henry of Hon- 
tingdon, who would seem to have the best infonnation, omits, both here and 
in his History ; see note, pp. 250-1. The Chronicle, with which Hunting- 
don agrees, fixes his death in 1123; Ordericus Yitalis in 1118. 

* Jer. XT. 5. * See the preceding History, pp. 219-20. 



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LETTEB TO WALTER. 805 

exemplar of the highest excellence. I must not omit Hugh 
the priest, a man indeed worthy to be remembered ; for he 
was the first, and the prop of the whole Chapter. He was 
succeeded by Osbert, a most agreeable and amiable man. 
WiUiam, a youth of great promise, now fills his place. 
Guemo was appointed Precentor, whose office Ealph the 
chaimter now holds. I must not pass over Albinus of 
Anjou, who was my own master; whose brothers were 
most worthy men, and my associates. They were graced 
by the triple robe of the most profound learning, the 
strictest continence, and perfect purity ; but, by the inscru- 
table judgment of God, they were afflicted with leprosy, 
from which they are now cleansed by the purification of 
the grave. Kemi placed archdeacons over the seven coun- 
ties comprised in his bishopric. Bichard was made Arch- 
deacon of Lincoln, and was succeeded by Albert the Lom- 
bard, who was succeeded by Wilham of Bayeux, and now 
by Robert the younger, who is the richest archdeacon in 
England. Nicholas^ was Archdeacon of Cambridge, Hun- 
tingdon, and Hertford, distinguished no less by the graces 
of his person than by those of his mind. About the time 
of his death, when Cambridgeshire was detached from our 
see, and attached to a new bishop, I myself succeeded to 
the archdeaconry of the two remaining counties. Bishop 
Bemi appointed Nigel, archdeacon of [North] Hampton; 
he was succeeded by Bobert, and, in turn, by William, the 
exceHent nephew of our present Bishop Alexander ^. Balph 
was appointed to Leicester, and was succeeded by Godfrey, 
a man worthy of all praise, whose place is now filled by 
Bobert de Merceto, a man not to be forgotten. Oxford 
was given to Alfred, an eminent rhetorician. Buckingham 
received Alfred the little, who was succeeded by Gilbert, 
distinguished by his cointly manners, and writings both in 
verse and prose. Their successor was Boger, now made 
Bishop of Chester. Then came Bichard ; but it is now 
held by David, the brother of your venerable Bishop 

' It is not improbable that Nicholas was the fiither of Henry of Hun- 
tingdon. See the preceding History, p. 245. 

^ To whom Huntingdon dedicated his History. See note to the dedica- 
tion at the beginning of this volume, and the account of this bishop's death 
and character given in the Eighth Book of the History. 

X 



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306 HEKBr OF HITKTIKODOX'S 

Alexander, the fifth in succession. Bedford, the sevendi. 
archdeaconry, was given to Osbert, who was succeeded by 
!Ralph, unhappily killed. Hugh was appointed to his office, 
and then Nicholas, who is the fourth in succession. I 
must pass over the rest of the clergy, excellent men, lest I 
should be prolix. Consider, then, how many of these reve- 
rend men are now dead, and will shortly be lost in oblivion. 
Beckon also in your mind's eye all those we have formerly 
seen, on the right of the choir, and cm the left ; not one of 
them now survives. These men loved what we love, sought 
vrheA we seek, desired what we desh-e; but death has 
buried them tdl in oblivion. It is our duty to reflect that 
the same fate awaits ourselves, and it should be our earnest: 
care to seek that which is durable, that which has foim- 
dation, and is not a mere dream ; in short, that which hast 
a reid existence, for tilings here are nought. 

The second chapter, on the contempt of the world, con- 
cerns those I have seen, who being nmrtured in the highest: 
prosperity, have been subjected to tiie severest calamities. 
I have seen Henry, tlie king's son, habited in robes of silk 
interwoven with gold, surrounded by troops of attendants . 
and guards, and brilliant with almost celestial splendour. 
He was the only son of tJie king said the qpieen, and looked 
with confidence to the inheritance of the throne* In truth, 
I know not whether the assurance of succeeding to the 
crown vms not better to him, than the present possession 
of it to his father ; because the father had already spent a. 
Icmg period of his term of reigning, while the son might 
count on the entire period of his own. His father, indeed, 
had to reflect with sorrow on the timo when it would be no 
longer his, while the son could anticipate its possession, 
with unmixed joy. But unpleasing thoughts suggested 
tiiemselves to my mind, the presage of future calamity, 
when I observed the excessive state with which he was 
surrounded, and his own pride. I said to myself, " This 
prince, so pandered, is destined to be food for the fire ! " 
He, indeed, from his proud eminence, fixed his thoughts 
on his future kingdom ; but God said, " Not so, unrigh- 
teous man*, not so !" And it came to pass that tlie head 

' Huntingdon seems to indulge his cynical humour in treating, of this 
young prince. Except the {Hide and ifidulgence, natural to his station, which 



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LETTER TO WALTER. 30T 

which should have worn a crown of gold, was rudely dashed 
against the rocks ; instead of wearing embroidered robes, 
he floated naked in liie waves ; and instead of ascending a 
lofty throne, he found his grave in the bellies of fishes at 
the bottom of the sea. Such was the change wrought by 
the right hand of the Most High ! So also Kichard, earl of 
Chester, the only son of Earl Hugh, nurtured in the greatest 
^lendour, in the full prospect of inheriting his father's high 
honours, perished, while still young, in tlie same ship, and 
shared tiie same burial. Eichard, also, the king's bastard 
son, who had been splendidly brought up by our Bishop 
Bobert, and treated with distinction by me, and others of 
the same family of which I was then a member* ; one 
whom we admired for his talents, and from whom we 
expected great things, he too was dashed on the rocks in 
the same ship, when no wind ruffled the sea, and, being, 
{dunged in its depths, met with a sudden death. Again, 
yi^nen William, the king's nephew, that is, son of Kobert, 
duke of Normandy, who now remwned sole heir to the 
crown, and was judged worthy of it in the opinion of all 
men, had, by his consummate ability, acquired the earldom 
of Flanders, and by his indomitable valour defeated Theo- 
doric in a pitched battle, he perished from a slight wound. 
Thus the hopes of aU who looked upon him as their future 
king were disappointed. 

If I were to dwell on such examples, my letter would 
swell to a large book. But I must not omit to mention 
<mr dean Symon, the son of our Bishop Bobert, bom to 
hdm while he was Chancellor of the great King William. 
He being educated at court, was, while yet young, appointed 
our dean, and made rapid advances in the royal favour and 

onr liistorian had opportunities of observing, I am not aware of any blemish on 
his character, unless there is any ground for including him in the. foul impu^ 
tation which Huntingdon attaches to the memory of most of those who 
perished in the shipwreck. But I have not found aity other authority for 
it than the passage in Huntingdon's History. See p. 249 ; and our author 
there mentions it only as a report. The gallantry with which the prince at^ 
tempted to rescue his sister, the Countess of Perche, from the wreck, and in 
BO doing perished himself, leaves a favourable impression. See in Malmet- 
bury, book v. p. 455, a fuller atcount of this disaster than is given by 
our author. 

1 See the earlier part^of thi» letter, p. 802. 

Z d 



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808 HENRY OF HUMTINGDOn's 

in courtly honours. He was gifted with a lively genius 
and a brilliant eloquence ; his person was noble, and his 
manners were graceful ; though young in years, he was old 
in wisdom : but these qualities were tdnted by his pride. 
From pride springs en^y, from envy hatred, from hatred 
slanders, quarrels, and secret accusations. He spoke truly 
of himself when he said, "I mix with the courtiers like salt 
among live eels ;'* for as ihe salt excruciates them, so he 
tormented by his calumnies all who were attached to the 
royal household : but as the salt loses its pungency by the 
moisture exuding from the eels, so the universality of his 
slander deprived it of its acrimony, and nullified his 
malice. One part of this adage he imderstood veiy well, 
but the other did not occur to him. He spoke the truth 
of himself without knowing it: for, from having been 
among the highest at court and in the royal favour, after a 
time he fell under the king's extreme displeasure, and 
being thrown into prison, from which it is reported he 
escaped through a sewer, he became an exile and a ruined 
man while he was still young. In him, therefore, was well 
exemplified the proverb, " Those who are brought up among 
flower beds are not far from dung." We must not be 
surprised, then, when we see that noble youths, brilliant 
with personal graces and fortune's favours, frequently fall 
into the greatest misery. Then all their vain hopes vanish, 
and that which was nothing is reduced to nothing. 

My third observation on the contempt of this fleeting 
life — I would it were despised by me as I could wish, and 
as it deserves — ^relates to die wisdom of this world, or that 
which is most desirable in it. That, indeed, is more 
precious than the riches of the whole earth, and all that is 
coveted in the world cannot be coQipared with it : for it is 
written ^ "The wisdom of tliis world is foolishness with 
God." T\Tiich saying of the Apostle I propose to exemplify 
from instances within my own knowledge. I will mention 
the Earl of Mellent, the most sagacious in political affau'S 
of all who lived between this and Jerusalem^. His mind 
was enlightened, his eloquence persuasive, his shrewdness 
acute; he was provident aad wily, his prudence never 

» 1 Cor. iii. 19. « See the History, p. 246» 



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LETTER TO WALTEB. 309 

failed, his counsels were profound, and his wisdom great. 
He had extensive and noble possessions, which are com- 
monly called honours \ together with towns and castles, 
villages and farms, woods and waters, which he acquired by 
the exercise of the talents I have mentioned. His domains 
lay not only in England, but in Normandy and France ; so 
that he was able, at his will, to promote concord between the 
kings of France and England, or to set them at variance, and 
provoke wars between fliem. If he took umbrage against 
any man, his enemy was humbled and crushed; while 
those he favoured were exalted to honour. Hence his 
coffers were filled with a prodigious influx of wealth in gold 
and silver, besides precious gems, and the contents of his 
ward-robe^. But when he was in the zenith of his power, 
it happened that a certain earl carried off the lady he 
had espoused, either by some intrigue, or by force and 
stratagem. Thenceforth, even to his declining years, his 
mind was distinrbed and clouded with grief, nor did he, to 
the time of his death, regain composure and happiness. 
After days abandoned to sorrow, when he was labouring 
imder an infirmity which was the precursor of deatli, and 
the archbishops and priests were performing their office 
for the confessional pm^ification, they required of him that 
as a penitent he should restore the lands which, by force or 
fraud, he had wrung from others, and wash out his sins 
with tears of repentance; to which he repUed, "Wretched 
man that I am ! if I dismember the domains that I have 
got together, what shall I have to leave to my sons?" 
Upon this, the ministers of the Lord answered, "Your 
hereditary estates, and the lands which you have justly 
acquired, are enough for your sons; restore the rest, or 
else you devote your soul to perdition." The earl replied, 
** My sons shall have aU. I leave it to them to act merci- 
fully, that the defunct may obtain mercy." Buttifter his 
death his sons were more careful to augment, by fresh 

* An " honour" was a law term not merely signifying personal rank or 
title, but feudal rights of a superior kind over large territories, including 
manors, &c., dependent upon the " honour." Thus the domains dependent 
upon the castle of Pevensey were erected into the Honour of the Eagle. 

* The " wardrobe " included not only wearing apparel, but the hangings 
and movable furniture of palaces and castles. 



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810 HSKBT OF HTJNTlirQIM>N*S 

mjustioe, the possessions their ^ther had acquired, than to 
distribute any part of them for the good of hiis soul. It is 
evident, therefore, that a man's highest wisdom may, in 
the end, degenerate not only to sheer folly, but to blind 
insanity. 

Need I mention Gilbert, sumamed the Universal, bishop 
of London? His equal for learning was not to be found 
even at Rome. He was an accomplished master of the 
liberal arts, and in speculative knowledge he had no equal. 
Living in France, he was rector of the school of Nivemois, 
when the bishopric of London was proposed to him, and 
he accepted the oflfer. Notwithstanding the great expec- 
tations which were formed of him, he soon began to yield 
to the temptations of avarice ; amassing much, spending 
little. At his death he bequeathed nothing; but King 
Henry found immense hoards of wealth in his coflfers. 
Even the bishop's boots, well stuffed with gold and silver, 
were brought into the royal treasmy '. So that this man of 
consummate learning was universally admitted to be the 
greatest of fools. 

I will say a word of Ralph, the king's chancellor. He 
was a man of ihe greatest sagacity, astute and crafty ; and 
he applied all the powers of his intellect to disinheriting 
simple folk, and easing them of their money. During this 
course of life he became subject to liabitual infinnity. 
But such was his passion for accumulating, that, even then, 
resisting God, as it were, and overcoming nature, he did 
not cease to ruin and plunder those he could. His greed 
grew with his grief, his sins with his sickness, his pecu- 
lations with his pains ; imtil at last, happening to fall from 
his horse, a monk rode over him- ; so that he met his death 
in an extraordinary way. These examples, selected from a 
crowd of others, may serve to exhibit the folly of this world's 
wisdom? 

Li the fourth place, I will address myself to the fortunes 
of men whose names are great, such as the Lord spoke of 
when He said to David, *'And I have made thee a. great 

' The chattels and treasures of the bishops were held to lapse to the 
crown on their death. 

2 See the story in Henry of Huntingdon's Historr, p. 250 of this volume. 



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IJITTER TO WALTER. 811 

name, like unto the name of the great men that are i^ 
the earth. "^ David's prosperity, indeed, was blessed; theirs 
of whom I speak was otibierwise. For in these times no 
one can acquire a great name except by great wickedness. 
A great name was obtained by Thomas, duke of Louvfun, 
in France, because he was great in crime. In hostility to 
aU the neighbouring churches, he extorted from them con- 
tributions to his money-bags. When any one, by fraud or 
force, fell into his hands, the captive might truly say, 
" The pains of hell compassed me round." Homicide wag 
his passion and his glory. He imprisoned his own coun- 
tess, an unheard-of outrage ; and, cruel and lewd at once, 
while he subjected her to letters and torture by day, to 
extort money, he forced her to cohabit with him by night, 
in order to mock her. Each night his rude followers 
dragged her from her prison to his bed, each morning 
they conveyed her from his chamber back to her prison. 
Amicably addressing any one who approached hun, he 
would plunge a sword into his side, laughing the while. 
For this he wore his sword naked under his doak, more 
frequently than sheathed. Men feared him, bowed down 
to him, worshipped him. Reports concerning him were 
spread throughout France. MeanwMle, his possession?;* 
Ms wealth, his followers, daily increased. Do you desire 
to hear the end of this abandoned man ? Wh^i mortally 
wounded, he rejected the sacrament of penance, turned his 
•head a\^y from the consecrated host, and so died. It 
may well be said of him, " His life was foUow'd by a 
fitting end." 

You knew Eobert de Belesme, the Norman eari who 
was thrown into prison^. He was a very Pluto^ Megeera, 
* Cerberus, or anydiang ihat you can conceive still more hor- 
rible. He preferred the slau^ter of his captives to their ran- 
som. He tore out the eyes of his own children, when in sport 
they hid their faces under his cloak *. He impaled perB(Mas 
oi both sexes on st^es. T« butcheo* men in the most 
horrible manner was to him an a^eahle feast. His name 
was the theme of general discourse, and the fearful freaks 

» 2 Sam. vii. 9. ^ See the History in this volume, p. ^45. 

* WiUiam of Malmefibnry gires rather a diifeieiit aooouat «f this bar- 
•^btrky. 



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812 HBNRT OF Huntingdon's 

of Robert de Belesme became common proverbs. At length 
we come to his end ; a thmg much to be desired. This 
cruel man, who had been the gaoler of others, was thrown 
into a dungeon by King Henry, where he died after a long 
imprisonment. Of him, whose fame had been spread every- 
where, no one knew, after he was in prison, whether he was 
alive or dead ; and report was silent of the day of his death. 
I have given an account of two out of many such monsters. 
Such as these might be a terror to the devils themselves, 
and I refrain from saying any more about them. 

Fifthly, I piupose to treat of those who, elevated far 
above all other mortals, are in human affairs as the sum of 
a problem. For kings are to their subjects a sort of gods. 
Men devote themselves t6 them by solemn oaths, and the 
veiy stars of heaven appear to do them service. So great 
is the majesty of these rulers of the world, that men are 
never weary of looking on them, and their subjects regard 
them as something more than mortal. It is not, therefore, 
to be wondered at that not only women and children, but 
men of light minds, should eagerly rush to gaze at them. 
But even the wise, and men of grave discretion, after 
repeated views, are drawn by some indescribable impulse 
to their presence. What is tiie reason of this ? What can 
be more full of bliss than their state ? Wliat more radiant 
with glory? Would that one of these favoured mortals 
could talk to you freely, and pour into yom: ear the secrets 
of his heart ! You would then form a very different judg- 
ment. While others count them most happy, they are 
consumed with trouble, tormented with fear. No man in 
their dominions is equally wretched, equally wicked. Hence 
it is said, the royal state is wickedness. King Henry 
threw his brother, the Lord Robert, into a dungeon, and 
kept him there till he died. He caused his nephew's eyes 
to be torrf out ; numbers fell into his hands by his breach 
of faith ; numbers he put to death craftily ; he broke 
many solemn oaths. He was a slave to ambition and 
avarice. \\Tiat alarm seized him when his brother Robert 
led an army against him out of Normandy to England ! 
He was terrified into making peace ; but the result was that 
he caused his highest nobles to commit peijury, because 
he broke the treaty and took his brother prisoner. What 



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XJCTTBB TO WALTEB 313 

was his alann when the Count of Anjou took his castles, 
and he dared not march to oppose him ! What his alarm 
when Baldwin, earl of Flanders, carried fire through Nor- 
mandy to his veiy face, and he was unable to check him ! 
What was his anguish of mind when his sons, and daughters, 
and nobles were engulfed in the sea ! With what anxiety was 
he devoured when his nephew WiUiam, having obtained 
the earldom of Flanders, it seemed certain that he him- 
self would lose his crown! He was reckoned the most 
fortunate of kings, but, truly, he was the most miserable. 

Need I speak of Phihp, king of France, and Lewis, his 
son, both of whom reigned in my time, whose god was 
their belly, and indeed a fatal enemy it was ; for such was 
their gluttony, that they became so fat as not to be able to 
support themselves. Phihp died long ago of plethora; 
Lewis has now shared the same fate, though a young man. 
What can we say of their fortunes ? Was not Phihp often 
defeated ? Was he not frequently forced to fly before the 
vilest of the people? Was not Lewis expelled by King 
Henry from the Field of Mars ; and driven out, as is appa- 
rent, by his own subjects? Ag§,in, the King of Norway 
was lately taken prisoner in battle by his own brother, who 
put out his eyes, dismembered him, cut off the head of his 
sucking child, and hung his bishop. All of these kings 
were alike ill-fated. 

But you will allege in contradiction, Why have you so 
highly extolled King Heniy in your History ^ while here 
you bring against him such serious accasations ? My 
answer is this : I said that this king was of great sagacity ^ 
that his counsels were profound, that his foresight was 
keen, and that he was renowned in arms, that his achieve- 
ments were glorious, and that his wealth was extraordinary. 
Notwithstanding this, all that I have said to his disadvan- 
tage is but too true ; would it were otherwise \ But per- 
il 1 See Book yii. p. 261 of tbe present Yolmne. 

' It 13 singular that Henry of Huntingdon, both here and in his History, 
is silent on the literarj accomplishments of Henry I., which obtained for 
him the surname of Beavrclerc. 

^ The free manner in which' Henry of Huntingdon treats of the character 
»f this Norman king, while he was still living, and notwithstanding his 
evident personal attachment to him, is creditable to his own character foi 



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814 EESRX OF HT7KTZN6IXON*S 

haps you will still aver, His reign has now lasted thirty-five 
years * ; and the instances of his good fortnne, if you count 
them, are more in number than adverse events. To this 
1 reply, Yes, but not even a thousandth part of his good 
fortune can be admitted as evidenoe of his happiness ; for 
the very occurrences which seemed fortunate were always 
mingled with disappointment When he gained a victory 
ovw the French king, with what protracted anxieties was 
that short triumph followed ! Because, in a word, another 
army was immediately raised, which caused him &esh un- 
easiness. You speak with admiration of his length of days, 
and the many years of his rei^ ; Jbut a man of God has 
predicted that it shall not last two years longer. Soon you 
will see the miserable end of a miserable hfe. Would it 
could be otherwise ! But so it will be^. Thus, you must 
not fix your regards on these unhappy kings, but on God, 
who alone is blessed, and opens the kingdoms of bliss to his 
faithful servants. 

My sia^ and last treatise coneems those great men and 
peers of the reahn who, not long since, were most potent, 
and still are not powerless. But they are nothing, they 
are nowhere ; I may almost say, with some extravagance, 
they never were ^. Scarcely any one i?emembers them now ; 
all memory of them has begim to vanish ; presently it will 
be entirely lost; they will vanish like running water. 
Listen, then, my dear Mend Walter, to my discour^ con- 
cerning those illustrious men whom we liave ourselvee 
seen, &ough it may be somewhat^^dious. In our time 
flourished Lanfranc, archbishop of ^Gante^buIy, a philo- 
sopher and a politician ; he was succeeded by Anselm, a 
wise and most religious prelate. After them we saw BaljJi, 
who was worthy of his Idgh dignity. Next, the see of Can- 
impartiality as «n iustonan. Perhtpi it also exhibits the. spirit of inde- 
pendence felt by the ecclesiastics of those times. 

* This computation fixes the date of Huntingdon's Letter to Walter, which 
has been assigned to a later period. See the observatioBS in the Preface to 
.this Tolume. 

^ This prediction was .singularly ^ferified, if we may suppose that Sing 
Henry's state of health at this time was not such as to rend^ it £ai from 
hasaidons. The king died before the end of the year in whidi this epistle 
was written, ''the day after ibe liaast of St. Andrew," the 2dth <^ Deoeii- 
.ber, lias. ^ Sic The writer e^c^Q& himsetf alittite fiirther on. , 



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LETTER TO WALTBE. 815 

terbury was filled by William, of whose merit nothing can 
be said, for he had none^ ; at present it is filled by Theobald, 
a man worthy of all praise. In our time, also, Walkeline 
was bishop of Winchester ; he was succeeded by William 
Giffard, a man of true nobility. Both these are dead, and 
have come to nothing. Their seat is occupied by Henry, 
the king's son, who promises to exhibit a monstrous spec- 
tacle, compounded of purity and corruption, half a monk, 
half a knight^. In our time, also, Ingulfus was bishop 
of Rochester ; after whom came Ralph, then Amulf, then 
John. All these are dead ; and Asceline, who now fills the 
see, cannot hold it long *. In our time, Maurice, bishop of 
London, died; he was succeeded by Richard, and after- 
wards by Gilbert, the great philosopher. At present, the 
see is filled by Robert, a man of enlarged mind. These 
two are dead. John, the physician, held the see of Bath^ 
and then Godfi^ey ; Robert now fills it ; and these also are 
nothing. At Worcester I saw Samson, a prelate of great 
eminence; after him came Teulf ; now we see Simon there. 
At Chester we saw Robert bishop ; then another Robert, 
sumamed Pecceth * ; now the see is filled by Roger, who 
will soon be nothing. Herbert had Norwich, a mild and 



* In the " Acts of King Stephen," this prelate is described as grasping 
and covetous. 

'^ This was the Bishop of Winchester, and papal legate, of whom Hmi- 
tmgdon here shrewdly predicts the «ztiaoidinaiy part he took in the trou- 
bles of the succeeding reign. 

3 Dacher, in his edition of this epistle, inserts in tbe text the name of 
Baldulf, as Bishop of Rochester, between those of Ingulfus and Balph. 
There was a bishop of Whitenie in QaUoway of that name, a.d. 791. See 
'* Huntingdon's History," p. 189. Dacher adds in a note, ** Gnndulf " [or 
Ingulf] "died in 1170 ,* and we might suppose that Asceline, the fourth in 
succession, was dead in 1147 ; " which is most probable from what Hunting- 
don here says ; but it is clear that the " Letter to Walter " was written m 
1135, notwithstanding that Wharton and Petrie hare assigned to it a much 
later date. See the observations on this subject in the Prefiioe to the pre- 
•ent work. 

* Haying removed it from Wells. See the character of this bishop ia 
William of Malmesborj. 

^ Hahnesbury says that Eobert Pecceth removed the see of Litchfield 
from Coventry to Chester. The modem bishopric of Chester was founded 
at the Reformation in 1541. 



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316 HENBT OF Huntingdon's 

ieamed bishop, whose writings we possess*. He was suc- 
ceeded by Everard, who was deposed for his excessive 
cruelty. William now fills that see. Hervey was the first 
bishop of Ely, and was succeeded by Nigel. Osmond was 
bishop of Salisbury, succeeded by Roger, a great statesman, 
who is now the king's justiciary. Robert filled the see of 
Exeter ; he became blind, and is now dead, and his nephew 
Robert has it. Ralph was bishop of Chichester ; in whose 
place Pelochin was appointed, a great rogue, who was con- 
sequently deposed. WUliam, who had the bishopric of 
Durham, was killed; after him came Ralph, who set all 
England on fire by his rapacity*; they were succeeded by 
Geoffrey, and William now fills it. We have seen Gerard, 
archbishop of York, and after him was Thomas ; then came 
Thurstan, a most excellent man ; it is now held by William, 
who was treasurer of that church. Remi, bishop of Lin- 
coln, lived in our days ; he was succeeded by Robert, a 
prelate of mild virtues ; Alexander, a faithfiil and munificent 
prelate, now fills the see*. Thus far of the bishops. 

Among our cotemporaries were Hugh, earl of Chester, 
and Richard his son, and Ralph their successor, and now 
another Ralph ; all who preceded him are gone. You knew 
that able but abandoned man, Robert, earl of Mellent^, of 
whom I have before spoken, and now his son Robert, in 
praise of whom little can be said. Have you not seen 
Henry, earl of Warwick, and his son Roger, who is now 
living, men of ignoble minds? You knew also William 
Earl Warrenne, and Robert de Belesme, earl [of Shrews- 

* Herbert, enraamed Losinga^ from a French word, signifying to cozen, 
Temoved the see of East Anglia from Thetford to Norwich. He was at one 
time the greatest simonist in England. William of Malmesbury gives a 
long character of him, representing him to have repented and become, as 
Huntingdon intimates, an excellent bishop as well as scholar. The " writings '* 
here referred to are probably his letters, the MS. of which was lately dis- 
covered at Brussels, and they have since been published there and in Lon- 
don. See William of Malmesbury's History, " Bohn's Antiquarian Library," 
p. 352. He died a.d. 1100,— Sax. Chron. 

* This distinguished prelate is frequently mentioned in the Eighth Book 
of Huntingdon's History. See also the " Acts of King Stephen " in the 
present volume. 

' See the notes to this letter, pp. 308, 311. 



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LETTER TO WALTEB. 817 

bury], with Kobert, earl of Morton, of whom I have spoken 
in my History of England^; as also Simon, earl of Hun- 
tingdon; Eustace, count of Boulogne, and many others: 
their very memory is wearisome. In their day they had 
great power, and appeared worthy of the closest scrutiny ; 
now they scarcely deserve mentioning. The very parch- 
ment on which their names are written seems ready to 
perish, nor are eyes to be found which would be willing to 
read it. My own letter is witness, which no one or 
scarcely any one, will read, though it contains the names 
of so many powerfiil men, worthy to be rescued from ob- 
livion. Why should I mention Aldwine*, my own master, 
who was abbot of Kamsey, and Bernard, his successor; 
after whom came Kemald, a clever but intemperate man ; 
who was succeeded by Walter, the present dignified abbot 
Where, now, are these ? Thorold, abbot of Peterborough ; 
and Amulf, and Mathias, and Goodric, and John, and Martin^ 
all whom I knew, are dead tod come to notbing. But you 
ask why I include the living with the dead, and say ih&t 
they all are come to nothing? For this reason: as the 
dead are come to nothing, the others soon will, or, to 
speak freely, have already come. For that which is called 
our life is, as Tully says, death. When you begin to 
live, you begin to die. I pass over those celebrated men^ 
Kalph Bassett and his son Kichard, with Geoflfrey Kidel, 
who were justiciaries of aU England, and others out of 
number, to oflfer whom respectful homage was once a plea- 
sure to me ; but now that they are dead it seems labour in 
vain to write even the shghtest notices of them. 

Reflect, then, my Mend Walter, how worthless is this 
present hfe ; and since we see that even the most powerful, 
who were in possession of the fullest measure of its wealth, 
accomplished nothing, and that we ourselves accomplish 
nothing, let us seek another way of life in which we may 
expect happiness and shall not fail. Rouse yourself, my 
brother ; rouse yourself and look about you, for what you 
have sought for in this life you have never found. Did not 
Alexander, a king, so to speak, all but omnipotent, die at 

• Pp. 242, 243. 

^ Probably the same person as AlbinnS; mentioned before as a member of 
the Chapter of Lincoln. 



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818 HENRY OP Huntingdon's 

last of a little poison? Did not Julius Osesar, a man 
equally or still more powerful, after he had hecome master 
of the world, fall by the stroke of a small poignard ? What 
he aimed at he did not obtain. Seek, therefore, that which 
you can find ; seek the life that comes after this life, for 
life is not to be found in the present life. Almighty God ! 
how truly are we called mortals ! For death clings to us 
while we live ; but our dissolution, which we call death, 
puts an end to death. Whatever we do, 'vdiatever we say, 
perishes from the moment it is said or done. The remem- 
brance of them, indeed, as in the case of the deceased, 
survives for a while ; but when that also has vanished, all 
our acts and words are annihilated, as it were, by a second 
dealh. Where is now what I. did yesterday? where what I 
said? They am swallowed up in the deadi of endless ob- 
livion. Let us then hope for the death of this living deadi, 
since we cannot escape it but by the death of our bodies, 
which is the middle term between life and death. 

I had soaroely fim^ed this letter wh^i it was announced 
to me that the Mend to whom it is addressed had ceased to 
live. What is the lot of mortals, but to be helpless at their 
birth, wretched during life, painful at their ^id ? O death, 
how sudden is thy grasp, how unexpected thy attack, how 
relentless thy stroke ! May He, Walter, who is the phy- 
sician of the soul after this life is ended, vouchsafe to ad- 
minister to thee the healing antidote of his mercy, that thou 
mayest attain, the life of enduring health. My letter now 
will never reach you : a short epitaph is all that I can 
ofifer, a memorial of you on which my tears will Ml while 
I write: — 

Satires, once, and songs of loTe 
Woke the echoes of the grove; 
Then my yonthful minstrelsy, 
Walter, was addressed to thee. 
Now my heart, oppress'd with griel^ 
Teams to find some short relief 
While I deck thy ftin*ral bier. 
And, bedew'd with many a tear. 
Fondly weaving moomM verse. 
Wreathe a chaplet for thy hearse. 

He, my better half, is fled. 
Lying numbered with the dead ; 



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LETTEB TO WALTER. 819 

He, my ligbt, my joy, my crown, 
"Whose fond love retum'd my own. 
Chill'd the heart that freely gave. 
Gold the hand ontstretch'd to sare ; 
Deeming what he gave as naught. 
In his modesty of thought 
Twice bless'd was his charity, 
Open hand and beaming eye 
Met, to stay, the suppliant's cry. 
Walter, of unrivall'd worth. 
Sleeps in consecrated earth ; 
Numbered now among the blest, 
May his soul have grateful rest! 



THE END OF THE LETTEB TO WALTER. 



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THB 

ACTS OF STEPHEN, 

KING OF ENGLAOT) AND DUKE OF NORMANDY. 

BT AN UNEKOWir BUT CONTEUPOEAKEOUS AT7TH0B. 



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fHB 

ACTS OF KING STEPHEN, 



BOOK I. 



On the death of King Heniy, who had given peace to the 
realm, and was the fadier of his people, his loss threw the 
whole kingdom into trouble and confiision. Duriiig his 
reign the law was purely administered in the seats of jus- 
tice; hut when lie was removed, iniquity prevailed, and 
they became the seed-beds of corruption. Thenceforth, 
England, before the resting-place of right, the habitation of 
peace, and the mirror of piety, was converted into an abode 
of malignity, a theatre of stnfe, and a school of rebdlion. 
The sacred bonds of mutual concord, befcare reverenced by 
the nation, w^e rent asunder ; the ties of near relationship 
were dissolved ; aud the people, long clothed in the gar- 
ments of peace, clamoured, and became frantic for war* 
Seized with a new fmy, they began to run riot against each 
other ; and the more a man injured the innocent, the hi^ear 
he thought of himself. The sanctions of the law, wldch 
form the restraint of a rude population, were totally disre- 
garded and set at nought ; and men, giving the reins to all 
iniquity, plunged without hesitation into whatever crimes 
their inclinations prompted. In the words of the prophet, 
^ There was no sounchiess from the sole of the foot to tho 
crown of the head;" for from the lowest to the highest 
fiheir minds were diseased and wrought vidence, or sane-^ 
tioned the violence of others by silent assent. Even the 
wild animals, which in former times were preserved ♦peaci- 
ably in paiks «nd inclosiires IhroioglMmt the eountiy, were 
now tamed loose, and harassed^ every one hunting ^lem 

T 3 



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894 ACTS OF KING STEPHEN. [BOOK I. 

without reserve. This, indeed, was a minor calamity, 
not much to be complained of; and yet it was wonderful 
how so many myriads of wild animals, which in large herds 
before plentifully stocked the country, suddenly disappeared, 
80 that out of this vast number scarcely two could now be found 
together. They seemed to be entirely extirpated, insomuch 
that it is reported a single bird was a rare sight, and a stag 
was nowhere to be seen. The people also -turned to plun- 
dering each other without mercy, contriving schemes of 
craft and bloodshed against their neighboiu*s ; as it was 
said by the prophet, " Man rose up wifliout mercy against 
man, and every one was set against his neighbour." For 
whatever the evil passions suggested in peaceable times, 
now that the opportunity of vengeance presented itself, 
was quickly executed. Secret grudgings burst foith, and 
dissembled malice was brought to light, and openly 
avowed. 

"While the English were in this state of turbulence 
and trouble, and the reins of justice now being relaxed, 
gave loose to every sort of wickedness. Stephen, count of 
Boulogne, a nobleman of illustrious lineage, landed in 
England with a small retinue. He was the best beloved 
by Henry, the late pacific king, of all his nephews, not only 
because he was of near kindred to him, but on account of 
the vii-tues by which he was eminently distinguished. In 
him, what is rare in our times, wealth was joined with 
humility, mimificence with courtesy; while in all warlike 
undertakings, every encounter with the enemy, he was bold 
and valiant, cautious and persevering ^ Thus gifted, when 
the report of King Henry's death reached him he was 
beyond sea; but instantly conceiving a great design, he 
hastened to the coast, and embarking, with fortunately a 
fair wind, he sailed for England, on which his thoughts 
were fixed. Landing, as I have said before, vnth few 
followers, he proceeded to London, the royal metropolis^. 

* The cbaracter giren of Stephen hy "William of Malmesbury corre- 
sponds with this ; but he adds, that *' he was kind as far as promise went, 
bat was sure to disappoint in its truth and execution." -See "Modem History," 
Bohn's Edition, p. 491. 

' " Oervase of Canterbury says, that, coming oyer in a swifi-sniling ship, 
the people of Dover repulsed him, and the inhabitants of Canterbury shut 
their gates against him. — Colojph, 40, 10." — Sewll, 



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A.D.1136.] STEPHEN ELECTED KING. 825 

At his arrival, the city, which had been in mourning for 
the death of King Henry, came out to meet him with 
shouts of joy, and received him in tiiumph ; regaining in 
Stephen what they had lost in their protector Henry. The 
men of rank and experience, assembled in council^ to pro- 
vide for the welfare of the nation, unanimously resolved 
to elect him king. For they said that the kingdom was 
exposed to danger when the source of order and justice 
failed ; and that it was therefore of the utmost importance 
to choose a king at once, who might re-establish peace for 
the common good, punish malcontents by force of arms,, 
and administer the laws justly. They claimed it also as 
their imdoubted right and especial privilege^, when the 
throne was vacant by the king's death, to provide that 
another should take his place and follow in his steps ; and 
they said that there was no one, as it appeared to them, 
who could fulfil the duties of a king, and put an end to the 
dangers of the kingdom, except Stephen, who seemed sent 
to them by Divine Providence, and who appeared to all 
worthy, both from his illustrious birth and his great quali- 
ties. These allegations being favourably received, at least 
no one openly controverting them, the assembly came to 
the resolution of oflfering the crown to Stephen, and he 
was chosen king by common consent ; this proviso being 
first made, and, as commonly reported, ratified by oath, 
that as long as he lived the citizens should aid him by 
their wealth, and support him by their arms, and that he 
should bend his whole energies to the pacification of the 
kingdom^. 

Stephen having thus secured the name and dignity of 
king in so fortimate a manner, took arms with the resolu- 

^ Malmesbnry says that very few of the nobles attended ; Huntingdon, 
that most of them gave in their adhesion, but that probably was afterwards. 
Stephen owed his election to the influential bishops of Salisbury and Win- 
chester, and the acclamations of the Londoners. 

^ According to the free Anglo-Saxon institutions; which, it appears, were 
not forgotten after three reigns of Norman kings. 

^ Our author, neither here, nor in subsequently relating the circumstances 
of Stephen's coronation, takes any notice of the charter of liberties promised 
by him, and afterwards granted and ratified by his solemn oath, as Hunting- 
don says, at Oxford. Malmesbury has preserved the document, and charges 
Stephen with having, through evil counsels, violated his oath. 



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326 ACTS OF KI5G STEPHEN [BOOK I. 

tion of restoring tranquillity ; and, successfully encountOTing 
the bands of robbers who ravaged that part of the kingdom, 
he made his name great at the veiy beginning of his reign. 
At that time there was a man of low condition, for he was 
King Henry's porter, but ready at mischief, and greedy to 
plunder the poor. This man, at the head of a band of 
rude coimtry folk and some hired soldiers, kept ihe whole 
neighbouriiood in alarm by his endless depredations wi^ 
fire and sword. Stephen, however, encounterod him bddly, 
killing his comrades or throwing them into jmson; and 
taking their leader also, he after a while hung him on a 
gallows. After this, suddenly collecting a strong force fix)m 
all quarters, he hastened to join Henry, the bishop, on 
whom his chief reliance was placed. He was Stejdien's 
brother, both on his father and mother's side, and a man 
of extraordinary prudence and persuasive eloquence, and, 
fortmie favouring him, had become Abbot of Glastcmbury, 
Bishop of Winchester, and Apostolical Legate in England. 
The bishop, extremely pleased with his brother's success, 
came to meet him with the principal citizens of Winchester, 
and after a short conference conducted him with great pomp 
into the second cit}' of the kingdom. 

There was at that time in the city of Winchester a man 
named William \ who, being the trusty treasurer of King 
Henry, had been frequently tampered with by the bishop, 
with offers of a bribe, to give up the castle and the 
treasure it contained ; but the more he was pressed, the 
less he was disposed to yield. As soon, however, as he 
hcEird of the king's coming, whether through love or fear of 
him I know not, he presented himself before him with a 
cheerful aspect, and made him master of King Henry's 
treasure, containing great hoards, gathered throughout all 
England from the time of the oldest kings, together with 
the castle. Keports of the new king's arrival spreading 
throughout the kingdom, he was joyfully acknowledged by 
numbers, those especially who were before in friendly rela- 
tions with himself and his brothers, and these seconded his 
efforts with all their power. Among these was William, 
archbishop of Canterbury, a man wiSi a smooth face and 

^ Snrnamed Pont de TArche. 



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▲.p. 1135.] STS^ORf^ TZHM GQUnCASSED. 827 

Strictly religious xnaimars, bat much more roBiy to amass 
money than to di^exuse it For at his dei^ the king's 
officers foimd immense smns secretly hoarded in his cd^, 
idiieh if he had distributed for chantaUe uses when alive, 
in imitation of the steward in the Ck»spel, ir^ made him- 
self M^ids of the mafmnon of unxi^teouimess, and dis- 

rsed abroad and gave to the poor, so that his name should 
had in everlasting remembrance, he woidd have better 
fulfilled the character of a good shephard. The archbishop 
being urged by the king's acQi^rents to anoint and conse- 
crate the king, and tlms siq>ply by the exercise of his 
sacred functions what seined to be wanting, he met their 
instances with the reasonable answer that it oti^ not to 
be done lightly or suddenly, but should be first maturely 
considered, and earful inquiry made whether it was wise 
and expedient. For the king, he argued, is chosen for the 
purpose of govaning all, axid that whmi elected he may 
oiforce ^be rights of his government on all; so then it is 
pliun that all should make common agreement in con* 
firming his election, and that it should be determined by 
e(»nmon consent whether it shall be ratified or annulled. 
He added that King Henry in his lifetime had bound all 
the principal men of the realm, by a most solemn oath, not 
to acknowledge the titie of £tny one afi^r his own death but 
Ids daughter, who was married to the Count of Anjou, or, if 
he himself survived her, his daughter's heir. Thc^ore 
tiiere was great presumption in endeavouring to set aside 
tbis engagement, the more especially as not only was King 
Henry's daughter living, but she was favoured in having 
heirs of Iter hodj. To this the Idng's partisans replied 
Irith confidence, *^We do not deny that King Henry's 
policy in the marriage of his daughter was wise, as it led to 
a firm and stable peace between the people of Normandy 
and Anjou, between whom there were fi^quent disturbances. 
With respect to the succession, that imperious king, whom 
no one could resist^ with a voice of thunder compelled, 
mtiier than persuaded, the great men of the kingdom to 
ti^e the oatii of fealty; for though he foresaw Ihat an 
involuntary oath would not be considered binding, still he 
wished, like Ezekiel, to have peace in his days, and by the 
marriage of one woman create a bond of union between 



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828 ACTS OF KING STEPHEN. [BOOK I« 

countless multitudes. We willingly admit that this thing 
was agreeable to him while he lived, but we say that he 
would not have been satisfied that it should be unalterable 
after his death ; for those who stood round him when he 
was at the last extremity, and hstened to his true confes- 
sion of his sins, heard him plainly express his repentance 
for the oath which he had enforced on his barons, ^^^^gjuce, 
therefore, it is evident that an oath extorted by violence 
ISom any man cannot subject him to the charge of perjury, 
it is both allowable and acceptable that we should freely 
acknowledge for king him whom the city of London, the 
metropolis of the kingdom, received without opposition, 
and who foimds his claims on his lawful right, through his 
mother, the late king's sister. We are also firmly convinced 
Hiat by acknowledging him aud supporting him with all 
our power, we shall confer the greatest benefit on the 
kingdom, which, now torn, distracted, and trodden down, 
will in the very crisis of its fate be restored to order, by the 
efforts of a man of firmness and valour, who, being exalted 
hy the power of his adherents aud the wisdom of his bro- 
thers, whatever was wanting in himself would be fiilly 
supplied by their aid." * 

Impelled by these and other considerations, which for 
brevity I omit, the archbishop anointed and consecrated *^ 
Stephen king, both in England and Normandy, with a large 
attendance of the clergy, which being known, and the re- 
port spreading throughout England, almost all the great 
men of the kingdom willingly and^everently gave their 
adhesion, and many of them, receiving presents and grants 
of land fi'om the king, did homage to him, and liberated 
themselves from the fealty they had before sworn. Among 

* The particularity with which the anonymous author states the discus- 
sions in this assembly, as well as in the previous council at London and on 
other occasions, confirms the idea suggested in another place that he was 
in a position to be familiar with all that passed. 

^ It would appear that the several events before related, the two coun- 
cils, with the expedition against the insurgents, and the seizure of the late 
king's treasure at Winchester, were all crowded into a few weeks. William 
of Malmesbury says that Stephen was crowned on the 20th Dec, 1135^ 
22 days after the decease of his uncle. Others state that it took place on 
the 26th of December. It is remarkable that our author does not give a 
single date throughout his narrative. I shall add the dates of the more im* 
^rtant events from contemporary writers. 



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A.D. 1136.] EXPEDITION AGAINST THE WELSH. 329 

tiiese was Kobert, earl of Gloucester, the bastard son of 
King Henry, a man of great ability, and the highest pru- 
dence. On his father's death, report says, that the crown was 
offered him, but with sound judgment he did not acquiesce 
in the proposal; observing that it was more just to leave 
the kingdom to his sister's son, who had a better title to it^ 
than to have the presumption to usurp it himself. After 
being frequently summoned by messages and letters from 
the king to attend his court, at last he came, and was re- 
ceived with, extraordinary favour, everything he required 
being granted on his doing homage ^ His submission, at 
lengSi gained, was followed by that of almost all the rest of 
England. 

Upon this, the king, attended by a large body of troops, 
made a royal progress through the kingdom, influencing 
those who were favourable to his pretensions to give him 
then' allegiance freely and dutifully in the various monas- 
teries, cities, and churches, and listening with courtesy and 
deference to all who laid their wants before him. To create 
tranquillity throughout the realm required great efforts, to 
restore union among hisrsubjects great sacrifices ; and the 
pacification not only of Englaikl but of Wales, was a work 
of much labour and vast expenditure. Wales is a woody 
and pastoral country, running parallel wi^ltEf borders of 
England on one side, and bounded by the sea through its 
whole extent on the other. It is stocked with game and 
fish, and feeds large herds of milch-kine and beasts of 
burthen. The men it rears are half-savage, swift of foot, 
accustomed to war, always ready to shift both Hieir habita- 
tions and their allegiance. When the Normans had con- 
quered England, they established their power in the country 
bordering on their territories by erecting numerous castles.. 
Heducing the natives to subjection, and settling colonies of 
their own followers, they introduced laws and courts of 
justice to promote order, and the country became so fruitful 
and abounding in plenty, that it might be considered not 
inferior to the most fertile part of Britain. But on King 
Henry's death, when the peace and concord of the kingdom 

• "He dissembled for a time his secret intentions." — William of 
Mahneshury. 



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3B0 ACTS OF KING STEPHEN. [BOOK I. 

was buried with him, the Webh, who always sighed for 
deadly rerenge agaiDSt their masters, threw off tibe yoke 
in^ch had been iijiposed oa Ihem bj treaties, and, 
issuing in bands from all parts of the comitiy, made hostile 
inroads in different quarters, laying waste the towns with 
robbery, fire, and swi^, destroying houses and butchering 
the populaticfli. The first object of ikmr attadc was the 
4£[strict of Gower^ on the sea-coast, a fine and abundantly 
fruitM country, and, hemming in with their levies cm foot, 
the knights and men-at-arms who, to the number of 516, 
were coUeeted in one body, they put them aU to the sword. 
After which, exulting in llie success of their first imder- 
taking, they overran all the bordera of Wales, bent on every 
sort of mischief, and ready for anj crime, neither sparing 
age nor respecting rank, and sujfering neither place nor 
season to be any protection fi:om their violence. When the 
king received mtelligence of this rebellion, he raised, for 
tbe purpose of quelling it, a considerable force of cavalry and 
archers, whom he took into pay at a great expense, and dis- 
patched them against the insurgents*. But of this fcwce, 
after many of their number v^rere dain fighting gloriously, 
ihe rest, shrinking to encounter the ferocious enemy, re- 
treated in disgrace after fruitless toil and expense. 

There lived at that time in Wales one Bidbard Fitz- 
Gilbert, a man of distinguished gallantry, surroimded by 
wealthy kinsmen and vassals, possessed himsetf of vast 
domains and numerous castles, who kept all his neighbours 
in check by leagues to which they were bound by hostages, 
so that the country became so peaceable and affluent, Qiat 
it might have been easily taken for a second England. This 
man having demanded of the king some great favour which 
was refused him, departed, it is said, vrith the intention of 
"sommencing hostilities. On his entering Wales vrith a 
arge retinue, he was waylaid and slain by the Welsh, hi» 

* A well-known district of South Wales, which nearly correspMids with 
the present coimty of 6Iainoi|[aB. 

^ Neither Malraesbury nor Huntingdon notice this expedition into Waleff^ 
which was not led by the king in person, while they mention Stephen's 
excursion into the north of England against the King of the Scots, shortly 
after his cerronation, in Lent of the same year, which is passed over by the 
author of " The Acts of King Stephen." 



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A.D. 1136.] SirCCESSBS OF THE WELSH. 3S1 

escort escaping. It becoming bruited abroad tiiat the 
greatest man in Wales had fallen, the people of several ds- 
tricts, assembling in great numbers, entered his territories, 
and being divided ir/*o three bodies, in military order, these 
foot-soldiers attacked Richard's horsemen, who, joined by 
others who came to their aid from the neighbouring towns 
and castles, made a force of 3000 men. The attack being 
made in three quarters, they were defeated by the insur> 
gents, who pursi^ them shouting and pouring in flights of 
arrows. Many were miserably slain, some were driven into 
a river and drowned, and others were burnt in churches and 
houses. The whole district, xxxvi. miles in extent, was 
overrun and plundered till nothing was left ; the old were 
exposed to death or derision ; the yoimg of both sexes were 
bound and dragged into slavery; women oi every age were 
openly and shamefully ravished. They stormed the castles 
of some barons, and closely beleaguered othars, under whose 
yoke they had hitherto bowed, but over whom they now 
lorded in turn. One of Richard's castles, which was impreg- 
nably fortified, and in which his wife, the Earl of Chester's 
sister, had sought shelter, was closely invested. She, de- 
prived of her husband's protection, with the despondency 
of her sex, was tortured with anxiety. Thus strictly inclosed, 
and short of provisions, for numerous bands of tiie enemy 
patrolled the country, and without hope of relief, she was 
worn out with grief and care. But stOl holding out, when 
her immediate neighbours were unable to offer her any 
assistance, Milo, who was lord of Gloucester* aud aft^- 
wards obtained an earldom rather by his crafty genius thaa 
his right of inheritance, devoted hunself and his followers 
to the peril of effecting her release. He was impelled to 
undertake it as much by compassion and his natural feel* 
ing for the distressed lady, as by the king's command, who 
had written to enforce the enterprise. Tracking his way, 
therefore, through the enemy's posts, among the gloomy 
recesses of the woods and over the mountain tops, he re- 
solutely approached the besieged castle, and withdrawing 

> Babert, bastard son of Henry I., liad the earldom of Gloncester, of 
vhich be made Bristol the chief seat, and where his tomb has been dis- 
covered in the former priory of St. James. Milo of Gloucester was after- 
wards created by Stephen earl of Hereford. 



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333 ACTS OF KINO STEPHEN. [BOOK I. 

the lady and her people in safety, returned triumphantly to 
his own territories. 

The king having learnt that the Welsh were endeavouring 
to excite rebellion in this neighbourhood, resolved to offer 
further resistance to their rash presumption. He therefore 
sent for Baldwin, the brother of Richard [Fitz-Gilbert] already 
mentioned, and entrusting him with a large sum of money, 
commanded him to carry rehef, as soon as possible, to his 
brother's territorities, and resolutely strive to crush the 
enemy. On receiving the money he got ready a body of 
cavahy, and with the addition of 500 stout bowmen reached 
the castle of Brecknock with all his forces. There he heard 
that the enemy had advanced to meet him in vast multi> 
tudes, and, blocking up the roads by felling trees across 
^em, had summoned their confederates to assemble 
IfHp every quarter. Alarmed by this intelligence, he in- 
terrtff)ted his march and halted for a long time, hoping 
that the enemy would be wearied out, or exhausted by 
famine. Meanwhile, he abandoned himself to gluttony and 
sloth, until he had prodigally spent all his supplies ; when 
he withdrew in poverty and disgrace. 

Robert Fitz-Harald, also, a man of the noblest descent, 
was employed in subjugating the Welsh, but with better 
results. For gaining a great victory over a numerous body 
of them, he added impregnable fortifications to a deserted 
castle, and placing in it a chosen garrison resolute to hold 
it to the last extremity, after these successful events he re- 
turned to England with a few followers to recruit his forces. 
Meanwhile the enemy, taking advantage of his absence, and 
apprehensive of his speedy return, gathered together in 
one body, and after a long siege, when provisions failed in 
the garrison, and Robert could not arrive in time to resist 
their furious assaults, they compelled its surrender. The 
Welsh creating these disturbances, the king thought that he 
was struggling in vain, and throwing away his money in 
attempting to reduce them, and that the better plan was to 
suffer for a while their unbridled violence, until, ceasing to 
oppose them, they should quarrel among themselves, and 
perish by famine or cut one another's throats. And this 
soon happened ; for, thinking of nothing but robbery and 
murder, die country was left without men, the fields with- 



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.A.D. 1136.] ORDER RESTORED IN ENGLAND. 838 

out tillage, so that scarcely any means of life was left to 
those who came after ; and the wild animals which followed 
the footsteps of their ravages perishing from mmrain and 
starvation, men themselves died amongst them of the pesti- 
lential atmosphere. I have thus collected in one series all 
the events which occurred in Wales at diflferent times, in a 
short accoimt, in order that I may not wander from my 
regular narrative as often as some remarkable action re- 
quires to be related in its proper place. 

The king thus actively employed, as I have before men- 
tioned, in tranquillizing the kingdom and consolidating its 
peace, was courteous and obliging to all men ; he restored the 
exiles to their estates ; in conferring ecclesiastical dignities he 
was free from the sin of simony ; and justice was administered 
without bribe or reward. He treated with respect church- 
men of all ages and ranks ; and so kind and gentle was his 
demeanour, that, forgetful of his royal dignity, on many 
occasions he gave way, in others he put himself on an 
equality with, and sometimes even seemed to be inferior to 
his subjects. And now England had assumed its ordinary 
state of repose, and all men, by the grace of God, through 
whom kings reign, quietly submitted without force or any 
sort of persecution, except certain of the principal and 
nearest friends of King Henry, whom he had raised from 
low degree to the highest offices hi his court. ' These per- 
sons he attached to him in course of time by the strictest ' 
obligations, conferring on them the highest honours and 
large estates, making them earls and sheriflfs of counties, 
and appointing them judges of all causes in the courts sum- 
moned by the king's command. They were now summoned 
to attend his court, and were promised a continuance of the 
same favours and the same honours which had been con- 
ferred on them by King Henry. For a while, confining 
themselves to the neighbourhood of their castles, they de- 
clined to obey the king's summons, partly on accoimt of the 
fealty which they had sworn to his cousin, King Henry's 
daughter, and partly because, as the great nobles of llie 
realm, they were disgusted at the pride and pomp of those 
who, though sprungfrom nothing, had been raised above them 
in rank and possessions, and exceeded them in power. There 
was another reason for their dreading to come to the king's 



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^84 ACTS OF XIKO 8T&PHEK. [BOQKX. 

court — last, having to mnswer in his presence the (^mpiaints 
of the poOT, and the cries of the widows whose knds the^r 
had seized, they might he compelled to yield to justice vfhst 
they had unjustly acquired, nut the king inclined to great 
forhearance, and wishing to try &ir means hefore he resorted 
to ioTCBy sent some of those persons he most trusted to the 
malcontents widi a eommbsion to use every means, either 
by graitle woids, or, if they failed, by threats, for reconciling 
them to his government The thr^tts prevailed, and a safe 
conduct being granted them for ^oing to and returning 
£rom court, and all their demands being conceded, they did 
homage to the king, and, taking the oath of allegiance;, 
bound th^nselves faithMly to his service. Amcmg the rest 
were Payne Fitz-John and Miio, already mentioned ; the first 
having the counties of Hereford and Shrewsbury, the other 
that of Gloucest^, mw^er his jurisdiction. These nobles 
had so stretched their power during King's Henry's reign, 
that, from the river Severn to the sea, throughout the 
borders betwe^i England and Wales, no one was safe from. 
their litigation and extortion. After his death, actuated 
more by apprehension of King Stephen than by any feeling 
of their own weakness, when they were watering an oppor- 
tunity of making disturbances, both came to a wretched end 
without having time for repentance. Payne, while he was 
diastising the W^shmen, was pierced throu^ the brain by 
an arrow, the only one of his party who fell. Milo, sur- 
viving to cause the king and the realm great trouble by his 
cr afty policy, as will be fully related in the sequel, was at 
last transfiked by &D. arrow in his breast, by one of hia 
attendants vMle he was hunting deer; and died on the 
spot 

All the great lords having thus sworn leaity to tiie king, 
ithe rulers of the church, witii the princdpal laymen, ^v^rd 
summoned to a synod at London^ ; ass^nbling with one 
accord, and the pillars of the diurch being airanged m 
order, and tiie commonalty also, as is their custom, intrude 
i^ thems^v«s in an irregular mann^, various matters of 

* Thw flypod is not tnentioned by Malmesbory, wlto seems to 0nl)etitute &r 
its proceedings one at Oxford. The present synod was probably held at 
Easter of this same year, 1136, which Huntingdon tells ifs was' spent by 
tbs king act London. 



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AJ>. 1186.] STATE OF THB (SESVBCBL 996 

importance to tiie dmrdi and kingdom were brought 
forward and well debated. Moquent speeches were miul^ 
in the king's presence on imparoving the state of the dnuth 
end restoring her liberties. It was said that, in £ii^ 
Henry's time, the chUrch faltered like a himibled and 
suffermg handmaid, and was subjected to manj insults: 
and that her pastors, the stewards of the word of God an4 
the servants at his altars, were in^^lved in pleas and law- 
suits, and were exposed to violent extortions and taxed 
under pretence of yearly gifts ; while her gates were more 
frequently unlocked by the key of Simon Magus than by 
that of St Peter. The bond of maniage, whidfci God had 
pronounced good, was dissolvecl on sli^t pretences ; the 
king abandoned himself to adulterous courses, and tolerated 
them in others ; took possession of the church lands on the 
death of the clergy, and appropriated the offerings at the 
altar to laymen, or compelled those to whom they rightlv 
belonged to pay for their redemption. If any one offered 
himself for the defence of the House of Israel, and opposed 
these scandalous practices with the rigour of the ecclesias* 
tical laws, he was forthwith repelled with injustice by the 
terror of Ucie king's name, and eiq>osed to grievous persecu^ 
tion by him and his satellites, and was not permitted to be 
heard as plaintiff or complainant, untU he had previously 
acknowledged and purged himself of his presumption by 
confession in open court. Vehement complaints were made 
to the king of these indignities ofiEeied to the diurch, and 
lie was entreated to restore its Hberties and jurisdiction, to 
place its laws above the decision of the seciilar courts, and 
not to suffer their infringement on any pretence whatever. 
The long heard all this with great patience, and freely- 
acceding to their demands, commanded that the HbertieB 
of the church should be safe and inviolable, that its decrees 
should be maintained, and that its ministers, whatever was 
iheir rank or order, should be treated with reverence. 
He would have fulfilled his engi^ements, had not evQ 
counsel, which perverts the best disposition, and his 
necessities, which were above law and reason, induced him 
to break them, as I shall i^late hereafber. These discussions 
being concluded with great unanimity, the synod was 
dissolved. 



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836 ACTS OF KING STEPHEN. [BOOK I. 

There lived at that time one Kobert de Badington^, 
a knight of good extraction and plentiful estate, but a 
glutton and a wine-bibber, who in time of peace abandoned 
himself to sensual indulgences. But after the death of 
King Henry, changing this gluttonous course of life for one 
of turbulence, he got together a band of soldiers and archers, 
and, sallying forUi from his castle, harassed the whole 
neighbourhood with fire and sword. After a time he did 
homage to King Stephen, but, instead of desisting from his 
evil courses, he became more ferocious and malevolent than 
before. Upon being summoned to court to answer for 
breaking the peace of the kingdom, he made his appearance 
reluctantly and in great tributation, well knowing that he was 
guilty of treason. Several persons brought forward against 
him charges of his having pillaged their property with 
violence, and, as he had no defence, judgment was 
pronounced against him that he should place his castle at 
the king's disposal, and that all his possessions should be 
at the royal mercy — a most just sentence, that one who had 
tmjustly invaded the property of others, should, by a 
fitting retribution, lose his own. It was therefore resolved 
by the king, the necessity of the case requiring it, that 
Bobert himself should accompany a troop of soldiers who 
were to take possession of his castle. He heard this 
decision with a lurking smile, turning in his mind how he 
might best seduce the king's soldiers and keep possession 
of his property. Accompanying them on their march as 
their leader and guide, he brought them to one of his farms, 
where he oflfered to entertain them, and, causing his servants 
to set before them a plentiful repast, with abundance of 
wine, when they had feasted, and, night comipg, were 
buried in sleep, he mounted his horse and stole away. 
Fortifying his stronghold against the king, he wandered 
about from place to place, concealing himself in the woods, 
and sometimes acting in concert with outlaws ; but at last 
he perished miserably in a foreign land. The king's 
soldiers, when they woke in the morning and found their 
companion fled, were in great trouble at their own negli- 
gence and his escape ; and returned . to the court ia 

> See Huntingdon'i History, and the note in p. 265. 



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A.D. 1136.] SIEGE OF EXETER CASTLE. 837 

disgrace. Meanwhile, Eobert's retainers overran the neigh-i 
bourhood with fire and sword, collecting large quantities of 
provisions to store the castle, until the king, receiving 
intelligence of these disorders, put himself at the head of a 
large body of troops and hastened to the spot. On his 
arrival he pitched a camp round the castle, setting a watch 
of archers by night, while others lay in ambush by day rand 
vigorously applying all his iheans to the attack of the place. 
Not long afterwards the night-watch arrested a wretched 
lad who had been let down from the castle walls, and was 
trying to escape. They brought him to the king, who 
commanded hina to be hung on a lofty gallows in sight of 
the garrison ; swearing that they shoidd all share the same 
fate, unless Ihey quickly obeyed his commands, and came to 
an agreement for the smrender of the castle. In terror at 
the king's threats, and thinking it was time to provide for 
their own safety — ^for what will not a man give in exchange 
for his life? — they consented to surrender under hard 
conditions; for they were banished the kingdom during 
the king's pleasure. They took refuge for a long time, as 
I have heard, with the King of the Scots. 

The king had scarcely completed this enterprise, when 
messengers from Exeter brought intelligence of great 
tumults which had broken out fiiere. Baldwin de Kivers, 
a man of the highest rank and descent, was breaking the 
king's peace in a most imusual manner. He had brought 
armed bands into the city among the peaceable inhabitants, 
and was reducing not only them, but all the neighbourhood 
under his dominion — and, storing the king's castle which 
he had seized with provisions swept from the country, 
loudly threatened with fire and sword all who resisted his 
unjust pretensions. The messengers therefore implored 
the king that he would come to the help of the citizens in 
their present distress, and afford them the only succour they 
could expect ; so that, strengthened by his aid, they might 
oppose Baldwin's power, and maintain then* allegiance to Sie 
king their only lord. On hearing this, the king was enraged 
at the presumption of Baldwin, more especially as it was as 
clear as day that the castle of Exeter had always been a 
royal castle, and that he was justly entitled to its custody. 
Allowing, therefore, no time for Baldwin's retainers to 



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89S Jkcra of kikg stephsx. [book i. 

0>v«amm the cointiy, he dispatched to Exeter cm advaneed 
guard of 200 horse, with orders to inarch all night an^ 
prevent, if possible, the enemy's egress ; but if thej fonn4 
armed men mixed among the citizens, they should prev^it 
&eir committing any outrages in the town. At break ol 
day the following mc»ming, a band of Baldwin's troopers 
issued from the castle incensed against the citizens because 
they had sent to the king for help, and intending to plunder 
and set on fire the town ; when, b^old, the king's horse 
were seen drawing near the city with glancing arms and fly- 
ing colours, and boldly marchmg in at the dty gates ; and in 
the midst of the dreadful confusion, they drove the garrison 
back to the castle. Not long afterwards the king himself 
arrived with his troops in regular and brilliant order; and 
^le citizens, going out to meet him with oflferings and joy, 
brought him into the town in great triumph. 

Exet^ is a large city, ranking, they say, the fourth in 
England. It is surrounded by ancient E^an waUs, and 
IB mmous for its sea-flsheries, for abimdance of meat, and 
ior Its trade and comm^ce. Its castle stands on a loffy 
mound protected by impregnable walls, and towers of hewa 
stone. Baldwin had thrown into it a strong garrison 
ehosen firom the flower of the youth of England, \i^o ware 
bound by oatl^ to resist the king to the last extremity. 
Baldwin hims^, with his wife and sons^ shut himself up 
m the citadel, prepared lor the worst; and the garrison^ 
manning the battlements and towers with glittedng arms^ 
taunted the king and his followers as they aj^oached the 
walls. Sometimes th^ made unexpected sallies and fell 
furiously on the royal army ; at others they shot arrows and 
launched missiles against them firom above ; using all tha 
means in their power to molest the enemy. Meanwhile the 
king, with his barons, who had accompanied him, or who 
afterwards gathered their forces and joined his army, made 
every exertion to press the siege. With a body of foot- 
soldiers heavily armed, he drove the garrison from the 
outer wall, which was built on a high mound to defend the 
eitadel, and retained possession of it He also su<;eeeded in 
breaking down the inner bridge which gave access to the citjr 
firom the castle, and with surprising address raised lofty 
wooden towers, from which the defenders of d26 castle weara 



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A.D. 1136.] PLYMFTOW GA8TLE SCBBEKDmiED. 88^ 

assailed. Diay and night he perseverm^y pushed the siege» 
at one time mounting &e hill -with Ins troops, on horse* 
back, and challenging the besieged to the fight, at aiioth^ 
causing his slingers to annoy them by hurling stones. 
He also employed miners to 8«p the fbrtifieations, and had 
ikll manner of machines constructed, some of great height^ 
tfo overlook what was passing within the garrison, and 
dthers on a level with &e fcmndation of the walls whidbi 
^ey vrere intended to batter down. The besi^ed, on th^ 
side, lost no time in destroying the machines, and all the 
ingenuity employed in their construction was wasted. 
Thi» the contest was niaintained with great vigour and 
ability on both parts. 

Whilst they were thus actively engj^ed in the sic^e, 
Baldwin's soldiers, who were intrusted with the defence of 
his castle of Plympton, in despair for their lord, fsaai the 
accoimts they heard oi the ^g's pow^, and fearing for 
iiieir own lives, from mere cowardice and want of firmness^ 
privately sent messengers to the king to treat for tiae 
€Rxrrender of the castle, and make terms for themselves. 
The king was desirous, if possible, to crush these disorders 
widiout having recourse to anas, and he therefore rea^y 
granted all they required, if only they submitted to hint 
and became peaceable subjects. The agreement being 
rati^ed, tibe king detached two hundred horse, with a large 
body of archers, who ^urly in the m(»ning made their 
appearance b^bre Plympton, to the great dismay of the 
provincials, and especially c^ those who were not of thso 
Action. The traitors d^ver^ up the castle to the king's 
troops on the pretence tiiat they w^e not strong enou^ to 
defend it. It was razed to the ground by the king's com- 
mand, and Baldwin's domains, which were very extensive 
in that district, and were fertile and well stocked, were 
stripped of everything ; so that Hie expedition returned to 
-Qie king at Exeter with many thousand sheep and cattle. 
The intdligence spreading throu^ the whole of Devonshire, 
ihe other adherents of Baldwin, fearing the loss of their 
property from the king's Kcpeditions, offered their submis- 
«on ; with the exception of Alfred, son of one Joel, a maa 
ef eminence, who was a femiliar and intimate friend of 
Baldwin's, and his sworn comrade in the contest with the 

z d 



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340 ACTS OF KING STEPHEN. [bOOE I« 

king. His mansion, however, was small, and not suffi- 
ciently fortified to afford protection to his people ; so that, 
leaving it empty, and drawing off all liis retainers, his 
brother led a strong band to Exeter, and joined the king's 
troops unobserved, and tinder colour of coming to their 
wd ; for it was impossible among so many armed men to 
make out clearly who or what he was. Then getting a 
messenger into the castle (for prisoners and monks were 
occasionally allowed the privilege of ingress), he announced 
to Baldwin's guard, that from love of him, and fideUty to 
his engagements, he had left all, and was come to shai'e his 
fortunes whatever they might prove to be. The gaiTison 
rejoiced greatly at their comrades' arrival, and opening the 
gates they sallied forth in strong force, and joining their 
friends, brought them safe into the castle, in the sight of 
the king and his principal officers. The royal army was 
thrown into consternation, and especially those who had 
the superintendence; because they had permitted the 
intruders to mix among the troops unobserved ; and they 
were still more mortified that they had been able to go 
over to the enemy in open day, and unopposed. The king, 
however, took the affiaor in good part, saying it would turn 
out well, if it was so ordered by divine Providence, that all 
the disturbers of peace were shut up in one hold. 

Meanwhile, the issue was long doubtful between the 
assailants and the besieged ; for the king had been detained 
before the castle nearly three months, and had paid as 
much as 15,000 marks in various expenses. Then, how- 
ever, the Almighty Disposer of events, being willing to 
bring his labours to an end, dried up the springs which 
fed two wells within the castle with water in abundance ; 
so that, though before they furnished a plentiful supply for 
all the men and beasts of burthen in the garrison, there 
was not enough now to slake the thirst of a single man. 
Some say that the springs failed in consequence of the 
extraordinary heat of the season. Others, that their course 
in the bowels of the earth was diverted by some accident 
in the deep and hidden channels through which they 
flowed. For myself, I neither attribute the failure to the 
drought, nor to any chance accident ; but I plainly assert, 
that the exhaustion of the springs was the work of Provi- 



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A.D. 1J36.] EXETER REDUCED TO EXTREMITIES. 841 

dence. For if during all the preceding ages, with so many 
diy summers, there had always been a plentiful supply of 
water, the failure now can be attributed to nothing but the 
interference of Providence ; more especially as, before the 
castle was besieged, and immediately after its surrender, 
the springs flowed abundantly, and there was no want, 
but during the continuance of the siege. So that the 
suffering of thirst seemed to be a scourge sent by the 
Almighty, to compel them to give up what they had unjustly 
and arrogantly held. 

The wells being dry, they had recourse to wine to supply 
tlieir necessities ; and that, too, was speedily exhausted, as 
they were forced to use the wine in making bread, and in 
cooking their food. They consumed it, also, in extin- 
guishing the firebrands which the king's engineers threw 
into the castle to fire their warlike machines and barracks ; 
so that the wine soon failed as the water had done. Having 
now nothing to drink, their sufferings were extreme, 
and they were reduced to a state of the utmost debility- 
For man's body can only be maintained in health and 
vigour by a siifficiency of nutriment; without which it 
becomes feeble and weak. Worn to extremity with con- 
stant watchings, fainting with the warfare of various kinds 
which they carried on against the besiegers from the battle- 
ments, and exhausted by insufferable thirst, the garrison 
held consultations as to surrendering the castle on their 
lives being spared ; and they communicated their distress 
to their secret friends in the royal camp, at whose insti- 
gation Baldwin had taken arms agamst the king. Shortly, 
Sierefore, two of the principal men in the castle, who were 
gifted with a prudent and persuasive eloquence, were dele- 
gated to treat with the king ; but by the advice of his 
brother, the Bishop of Winchester, he hardened his heart 
against them, and drove them from his presence with 
tihi-eats, without hearing their message. For the bishop 
had remarked their emaciated appearance, their parched 
and gaping lips, and difficulty of breathing ; from which 
he inferred that there was no necessity to treat for a siu:- 
render, which the garrison must shortly make at discretion. 
Upon tliis repulse, Baldwin's wife was in great distress, 
and went herself to supplicate the king, with naked feet. 



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943 ACTS OF XIK6 6TRPHBN. [BOOKX 

ashes on her head, and sheddmg a flood of tears. Tha 
king received her giadouslj, hoth out c^ pity ai seeing <me 
of her sex in sudi affliction, and out of respect to the 
kinsmen 'and ^ends of that noble woman, who were en- 
gaged with him in the siege. But though he listened to 
Ydaoit iben she proposed, in much tribulation, reepectiDg 
Ihe surrender of the castle, he continued inexorable, and 
dismissed her without granting her petition. After thes^ 
repulses, deadi began to stare the besieged in the &oe, 
and some of the barons of the king's party who were allied 
to ^em by blood, were deeply concerned for their Idndred 
^ut up in ^ citadel; others, who were of Baldwin's 
faction, complained to their fellows that the siege was too 
harshly pressed. All these came in a body to the king, 
and by ^eir forcible aiguments, mingled with soothing 
appeals to his humanity, caused him suddenly to change 
Jus mind. 

They represented, that he would have obtained a su£^ 
cient triumph, by forcing his enemies to surrender to hkn 
what he justly daimed ; but tha^ it was more fitting his 
dignity, and more becoming the royal clemency, to grant 
their lives to the prisoners who supplicated him, than, l^r 
an act of extreme v^»]igeance, mercilessly to deprive th«n 
of what r^nained of their lives. They added, also, that 
their adversaries had never sworn fealty to the king, and 
had only taken up arms in obedience to the commands of 
their own liege-loxd ; and that they, the remonstrants, had 
daims on the king, for having enabled him to establish his 
rights to what he churned. They considered, therefore, 
that it woidd be more wise, and more for the kingdom's 
good, that an end should be put to this protracted siege, 
which had occasioned ikem all so much inconvenience ; so 
that, having obtained the glory of recovering his castle, he 
might be at liberty to prosecute other enterprises. The 
king was so pressed by the importunities of the barons, 
who mingled aiguments with their intercessions, that he 
was forced at last to give way, and grant what they required. 
To do them the greater &vom*, and attach them more 
closely to his interest, he not only allowed the garrison to 
evacuate the castle without molestation, but permitted 
them to retain their arms and property, and to take service 



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▲.D. 1136.] BALDWIN BB B1Y£BS IN ISLE OF WIGHT. ^B 

intli any l<nxl they might choose. As they mardied ottt, 
^naciated and dyiog with thirst, they formed a wretchod 
spectade, and their &^ object was to rush eagerly, wherevor 
they oottld, to procure the means of allaying it. 

Vfhen Baldwin tmderstood that the king had dedarad 
bU his estates forfeited to himself, as the lord paramount, 
he was by no means humbled, nor did he abandon himself 
to despair; but, repairing his losses, he betook himsdf to 
ihe Isle of Wight, which was part of his territories, and 
turned his whole attention to the means of renewing his 
rebellioli. The Isle of Wi^t, which is of considerable 
length on the sea-board, but very narrow, is greatly &e> 
Rented by saQors, and has good fisheries, but does not 
produce much com. It Hes between Iki^and and Nor- 
mandy, but nearest to En^and ; and the whole island was 
Baldwin's patrimony, fie had in it a stately castle, built 
a£ hewn stone, and Teiy strongly fortified ; from whidi it 
was his design to weaken the king's resources, by collecting 
a large piratical fie^ and, taking advantage of eveiy wind, 
to intercept the merdiant ^ips which plied between Eng- 
land and Normandy, and inflict losses on both countries by 
eveiy effort in his power. But the king, anticipating this 
stroke of policy \ left Exet^ aaad the nd^ibouring country 
to the care of the Bishop of Winchester, and foLbowed up 
Baldwin with the utmost dispatdi. Hastening therefore to 
ihe port called fi^uaipton [Southampton], which is ccmtiguous 
to the island^ and easier of access, he c^nmanded Mq^B to 
be fitted for sendee. Baldwin, hearing of the king's sruiden 
and unexpected arrival, was so alarmed, that, by the urgent 
advice of his friends, he presented himsdf before him, and 
pleaded for mercy. For though his castk of Wight^ was 
fitxongly end impregnably fortified, and stored with an 
abunduit supply of provisions to stand a. siege against ^e 
jx>yal foftses, the supfdy of water was not su^cieo^ ibr iksB 
number of the garriscm. By the interposition of Provi- 
dence, the springs had been dried up by a sudden drought, 
and Baldwin and his adherents, embarking in a fresh 
struggle with the king, were utterly ruined. For, having 
demanded in vain that his possessions should be restored, 

> "Stropham, vulgo 'artful dodge.* "—-SfeircW. ' Carisbrook] 



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844 ^ ACTS OF KING STEPHEN. [BOOK I. 

he went into exile, and took refuge with the Count of 
Anjou, intending to recommence hostilities against the 
king. The count was delighted to receive him, and enter- 
tained him and his followers with distinguished honom*s ; 
assuring him that he was ready to comply with his wishes, 
whether he was inclined to enter into military service at 
his court, or to dispute the rights of King Stephen to the 
crown of England. 

But Baldwin, spuming for the time the allurements of a 
court, devoted himself to promote discord in the king's 
dominions. He made complaints to his friends and kins- 
men of the king's persecution, of his having been driven 
from his country and disinherited ; that he was unjustly 
suffering banishment, and that nothing was left him but to 
have recourse to arms, in conjunction with his friends, and 
using all the means in their power to mend their fortunes. 
These great barons, deeply compassionating his sufferings, 
rendered him such zealous aid both by word and deed, 
that, receiving him into their castles, among their own 
followers, they even yielded him the honour of placing 
them entirely at his command. With numbers thus in 
league with him, he began to organize hostilities through 
the whole of Normandy, and especially against the king's 
adherents. No acts of violence and rapine were imprac- 
tised; fire and sword were not spared. Making sudden 
irruptions, he mercilessly swept the country of plunder, 
and became formidable by carrying alarm into every quarter. 
He was continually stimulated to proceed in these outrages 
by the entreaties and counsels of the Countess of Anjou^ 
the daughter of King Henry, who had applied to her own 
use her father's treasures, which would have been better 
bestowed in alms for the good of his soul. She had forti- 
fied certain castles of her own, and used her influence, not 
only with Baldwin but with as many otliers as she could, 
to bring them to own her authority, claiming the kingdom 
of England as her just right, by inheritance from her 
father. 

* Roger of "Wendover shortly notices the successful irruption into Nor- 
mandy, without relating that Baldwin de Rivers was the leader of it ; but 
he mentions his having taken refuge with the Count and Countess of 
Anjou. 



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A.D. 1138.] SIEGE OF BEDFOBD. 845 

When the kmg came fully to understand what was going 
on in Normandy, he sent over the sea envoys of rank; for 
he was prevented by the importance of the movement, 
against which he had to take measures, from going imme- 
diately himself^. The envoys were commissioned to em- 
ploy entreaties ^ . . . . 

. . . . created him earl of Bedford. The king, 
having held his court during Christmas [at Dunstable] wi3i 
becoming splendour, dispatched messengers to MUo de 
Beauchamp, who by royfid licence had the custody of the 
castle of Bedford, vdth orders that he should hold the castle 
of Hugh, and do service to him instead of the king. If he 
readily obeyed this command, he should have honour and 
reward ; but if he withstood it in any manner, he was to be 
assured that it would be his ruin. On receipt of the royal 
message, Milo repUed that he was willing to serve the kmg 
as his true knight, and to obey his commands, unless he 
attempted to deprive him of the possessions which belonged 
to him and his heirs by hereditary right. But if that was 
the king's intention, and he ^endeavoured to execute it by 
force of arms, he must bear the king's displeasure as best 
he could ; and as for the castle, he would never yield it, 
unless he was driven to the last extremity. Finding how 
things stood, the king's indignation was roused against 
Milo, and he raised an army from all parts of England to 
lay siege to Bedford. Aware of his approach, Milo swept 
off all the provisions he could lay his hands on, making 
violent seizures both from the townsmen and the inhabitants 
of the neighbourhood, with whom before he had been on 
good terms, as belonging to his lordship. These suppHes 
he stored in the castle, and securely closing the gates, he 
for this time excluded the king's people without any loss 

* Stephen shortly followed in person, at the beginniif]| of Lent, in com- 
pany with Alexander, bishop of Lincoln, and many <i( his great nobles, and 
remained in Normandy till the following Chnstmas. 

2 The MS. of the " Acts of King Stephen " her& feiTs ; hut we learn from 
Huntingdon's History, see before, p. 266, that he recovered Normandy, con- 
cluded a peace with the King of France, and made a truce with the Count 
of Anjou. Such were the principal transactions of the year 1137. Our 
MS. takes up the narrative with the siege of Bedford which commenced 
jA Christmas the same year. 



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646 A0T8 OS* KISQ 8ZBFSXN. [BCXm I. 

on his own side. The king, however, after carefally recon- 
noitring the fiHtifications, placed under cover Imnds of 
archers, at convenient posts, wiHi directions to maintjyn 
such a ccmstant discharge of arvowB against those mhm 
manned the hattlemaits and towers as should preve nt 
their keeping a good look-out, and hold Ihem always in a 
state of confosion. Meanwhile, he exerted all his ener^es 
to have engines constructed for fillii^ the trenches and 
battering the walls. All that skill and ingenuity, labcHur 
and expense could compass, was effscted. Ni^t witdies 
were posted at all the castle gates to prevent any commu- 
lucation by the besieged to t^ir Mends without, or pro- 
TOions or necessaries being introduced within the fortnass. 
By day, eveiy effort that i^ill could devise was made to 
distress and annoy the enemy. But the castle stood cm a 
very high mound, and was surromided by a solid and lo^ 
irall, and it had a stroxig mod imjaegnable keep, and con- 
tained a numerous garrison of stout and resolute men, so 
that the expectation of soon taking H i»x>ved abortive; and 
the king having other affiiirs on his hands which required 
immediate atten^n, he vdthdrew, leaving the greatest part 
of his army to cany on the siege. His oiders were, that it 
the engines could not effect the reduction of the place, « 
blockade should be maintained, till want and hunger com> 
pdled its surrender. After the king's d^>artnre the be- 
sieging army continued their hostilities, till, their provisions 
being exhausted and their strength &dling, the garrison 
confessed that titey could hoid the place no longer. They 
therekire surrendenred it to the king, according to the laws 
of war. But whatever might be their present humiliation, 
it v^ras not long before ^c^ returned with increased prido 
and animosity ; fior they not only recovered the castle, but> 
by God's ordinance, they reduced Koger himself from being 
an earl to his simple knighthood, and from being a knight 
to be a penniless man^. But of this more fully in the 
sequel 

1 ** This pasMige it almost unintelligible. It it otnj«ctnred ^t Boger wm 
tbe penon created earl of Bedford, and left in command of tlie king, wh*, 
on losing the cattle, was reduced from hit xaok to that of a plain man-al- 
arms, and from that to a poor man.** — Sewell, It teema to harm escaped tfatt 



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AJ>. 1188.] SiaMS IK TOE HKAYXM. M7 

Bedford being at length taken, it might have been sup^ 
posed that order was restored, and that all disturbances and 
insurrections were quelled and put an end to ; but the root 
of an evil sprung up in the part of En^and called Nordi- 
vmbeiland, producing robbery and incendiarism, insurreo- 
tion and war. So stupendous was tins calamity that not 
<snty manldnd trembled at it, but the heavens betokened it 
as something awM. For, shortly before it commenced, a 
large quarter of the heavens was seen to emit fiery spaaiicB 
like a furnace, and balls of fire of wonderful brightness, 
like tlie sparks of live coals, shot thxou^ the air in more 
places than one. This visible appearance of a fiaming skj 
portended either the great efiusion of blood which speedily 
followed, or denoted the burning of towns and villages. 
For the great Creator, Himself invisible, graciously conde- 
scends to instruct our ignorant minds concemiiig what is 
about to Irappen by visible c^fypeaxanoes, and sometimes, in 
veiy deed, gives us a sign fi-om heaven to teach us ; at 
others, He certifies and forewaras our uzMliroeming spirits 
by the accidents which by his providence occur on earth. 
From heaven, for instance, as we find in the Book of 
Kings, when one part of the sky appeared unusually red, 
a sign fix)m the Almi^ty of impending war, and to ezphum 
what was meant they said, " it is the blood of the swcird."* 
Also in the Book of Maccabees, when flaming ranks were 
seen flitting across the sky, and celestial hosts breathing 
flames in mutual encounters, it was undoubtingly admow- 
ledged to be a sign of coming evil, and ^e lustory itsetf 
dearly makes out tiiat such it was. On earth, too, the 
Almighty shows many tilings which are evid^ot tokens of 
events about to happen; sudi as the rending of Saul's 
garment^, which prefigured the ruin of his kii^om ; and 
the ten shreds, whidb the prophet^ commanded Jeroboam 

notice of the learned editor that our author agun returns, at he here pr»- 
xnisei^to ihe surrender of Bedford Castle (see afterwards, where he enumerates 
the losses which followed Stephen's imprisonment), speaking of tbe fortunes 
of its lord in nearly the same terms he uses h^, hut calling him Suffh, 
sumamed the Poor, and expressly stating diat the earldom of Bedford had 
been conferred upon him on the forfeiture of Milo de Beanchamp. By rec- 
tifying what appears to be an error of the scribe, and substituting Hugh f«r 
Boger in the former passage, all the difficulty is removed. 

» 2 Kings iii. 22, 23. » 1 Sam. xxiv. 4. « Ahijah, 1 Kings xi. SI. 

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S48 ACTS Of KING STEPHEN. [BOOK I. 

to take, signified that he should have the dominion over 
the ten tribes. No less, all the acts of the prophets, and 
the writing on the walP in the presence of Belshazzar, and 
Daniel's dreams^, what were tiiey but presages of future 
events, by which men, being forewarned, might humble them- 
selves before God, and be cautious in the midst of evils ? 
Let not, therefore, the reader taunt me with telling an idle 
tale when I say that, having myself witnessed the [northern] 
hemisphere '* in a flame, and seen with my own eyes Imni- 
nous flakes floating densely in the blazing sky, I con- 
sidered these portents to be ihe precursors of coming evils, 
and to portend that dreadful scourge which soon afterwards 
devastated Northiunberland. Let him who will hear and 
take account of it. 

The King of Scotland, which country borders on Eng- 
land, only a river dividing the two kingdoms, was a prince 
of great humanity, who was bom of religious parents, and 
had not degenerated from them in goodness and piety. 
He had with the other great men, the first * indeed of them 
all, taken the oath of allegiance to King Heniy's daughter* 
in that king's presence, and he was therefore deeply grieved 
that Stephen had usurped the crown of England ; but as 
that was settled by the barons without his concurrence, he 
prudently waited tiie result, watching in silence the course 
of events. At length he received letters from King Henry's 
daughter, complaining that she had been excluded from 
her father's will, robbed of the crown which had been 
seciu-ed to her and her husband by solemn oaths ; that the 
laws were set aside, and justice trodden tmder foot ; and 
the sworn fealty of the English barons was broken and dis- 
regarded. She therefore earnestly and sorrowfully implored 
him, as her kinsman, to succour her in her need ; as her 
iiege vassal, to aid her in her distress. The king was 
deeply grieved ; and inflamed with zeal for a just cause, the 
ties of blood and regard for his oath induced him to foment 

' Daniel v. 5. * Daniel vii. 1, &c., &c 

* " Polum." These phenomena, more fully described just before, were 
apparently an exhibition of the aurora borealis, the northern lights. 

* ** According to William of Malmesbury, Stephen was the second to 
jwear fealty to Matilda." — Setcell. 

* Our author never calls the Empress Maud, or Matilda, by her name, hat 
always " King Henry's daughter," or '■* the Countess of Anjou." 



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AJ). 1188.] IRRUPTION OF THE SCOTS. 349^^ 

insurrections in England, that by so doing, by God's help, 
Stephen might be compelled to resign the crown, which it 
appeared to him had been unjustly acquired, to the rightful 
owner. The King of Scots entertained at his court the Eng- 
lish exiles, who continually urged him to these measures. 
Among these were Robert de Baddington's son, and hia 
collateral kinsmen, who have been mentioned before as 
having, on theu: banishment, taken refuge in Scotland, 
with the hope of re-establishing themselves in their own 
country. There were also Eustace Fitz-John, an intimate 
friend of King Henry, with some others, who, in the desire 
of advancing themselves, or of defending what appeared Uy 
them the right cause, sought every opportunity of promoting 
a rupture. King David, therefore, for that was his name^ 
published an edict throughout Scotland calling his people 
to arms, and, changing his line of conduct, let loose without 
mercy a most fierce and destructive storm on the English 
people. 

Scotland, called also Albany, is a country overspread by 
extensive moors, but containing flourishing woods and 
pastures, which feed large herds of cows and oxen. It has 
safe harbours, and is surrounded by fertile islands. The 
natives are savage, and their habits imcleanly; but they 
are neither stunted by extremity of cold, nor debilitated by 
severe want. Swift of foot and lightly armed, they make 
bold aud active soldiers. Among themselves, they are so 
fearless as to think nothing of death; among strangers, 
their cruelty is brutal, and tiiey seU iheir lives dearly. A 
confused multitude of this people being assembled fi:om 
the lowlands of Scotland, they were formed into an 
irregular army, and marched for England. Crossing the 
borders they entered the province of Northumbria, which 
is very extensive, and abounds with all necessaiy supplies,, 
and there they pitched their camp. Being now mustered 
in regular companies [incursions were made] over the face 
of the country, which extended round in great fertility^. 

' Here again the MS. of the " Acts of King Stephen ** unfortunately feil«. 
The blank is well supplied by Huntingdon's History, which describes at 
length the battle of the Standard, to which our author's account of this 



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$50 ACTS OF KING STEPHEN. [bOOE I.^ 

Tbe conference between the king and the envoys haviBg 
tfius tenninated, they parted ; the king direct for London, 
the envoys for Bristol, the earl's principal seat. They 
bronght to their friends orders fuU of troid^le for the realm 
of England, viz. that the castle of Bristol must he pro* 
visioned and recruits obtained ^m all quarters,^ and ^mlL 
hostilities should immediately commence with all vigour 
against the king and his adherents, as the earl's enemies. 

Bristol is the most opulent city of all those parts^ as its 
[dipping brings m^rtsluEindise to it from the neighbouring 
coasts and from foreign parts. It is situcd^ in the most 
fertile pari of England, and its position is stronger than 
that of any other En^iish town. like what we read of 
Brundusium, it stands where a tongue of land, extending 
between two rivws whidi wash it on both sides,, forms a 
flat at the confluence of the rivers, cm which the city is 
built The tidoN flows fredi and strong from the sea efyery 
day and night, and drives back the waters of the river on 
both sides of the city, forming a basin in whidb a thousand 
^ps can Gonvi^enUy and stdeLj ride, and so encompassing 
the ckrcuit of Ihe^ town that it mi^ be said to float on tiie 
waters, and appears in er&ej quarter to touch tl^ river 
banks. On one side, where it Hes more open to attack,, 
the castle stands on a reused mound, fortifled with a wi^ 
and outw(»'ks jBoad towers, and frmiished with ^sgines of 
various kinds, to delmd it against assadlts. In this esustle 
was cdlected so numerous a band ci knights and men-at- 
arms, with Iheir attendants on 3oGt (I ou^t rather to call 
them freebooters and robbers), that it not only appeared 
vast and fetffful ta the beholders, but actually terrible and 
incredible. They were drawn together from (Merent coun-^ 
taes and districts; perfect^ satisfied to searve a wealthy lord 
in so well-fortified a castiie, with permission to w^k their 
will in the richest part of England. 

irruption of the Seots seems to be the prelude. Httzttingdon also mentioiiff 
the general reroh of tbe brnmis at tfats time, wkicb was coimectBd with tha 
invasion of the King of Scots : see before, p. 267. When the MS. again 
serves us, it may be concluded that our author is speaking of some treaty 
which had taken pTac* between the Sari o£ Gloucester, who wa» still in 
Formandy, and King Stephen, which terminating un^ivoiuably, RobertV 
envoys hiid orders te put tlie eul's castle of Bristol into a s^ata of defence. 



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A.D. 1138.] CITIES OF BSISTOL AND BATH. 951 

Among others came that Geoffrey Talbot who, having 
been banished, as ahready mentioned, spread the venom c3 
a poisoned mind wherever he went, and was readj to im- 
dertake anj barbarity that his imcontrolled and outrageous 
temper suggested. But by the providence of God his 
malice recmled on himself; for while he was contemplating 
the slaughter and condemnation of others, he was the first 
who was taken prisoner and thrown into a dungeon, where 
he barely escaped the sentence of death. There is a city- 
six* miles from Bristol where the hot springs, circulating 
in channels beneath the sur^Etce, are conducted by channels 
artificially constructed, and are collected into an ardied 
reservoir, to supply the warm baths which stand in the 
middle of the place, most delightful to see and beneficial 
for health. This city is called " Batta," Ae name being 
derived from a word in the English tongue which signifies 
bath ; because infirm people resort to it frcmi aU parts of 
England, for the purpose of washing themselves in these 
salubrious waters; and pers(His in health also assemble 
there, to see the curious bubbling up oi the warm springs* 
and to use the baths. This city the Bristol men were 
amdous to get into their power, the more especially as it 
could be easily fortified. For that purpose a party of tl^m 
marched stealthily in the dusk of the morning, carrying 
with them ladders and other li^t implements for scaling 
the wall, and took post under cover of a hollow, while their 
scouts reconnoitred the place and the most advisable point 
for making an assault, upon which the whole body was to 
rush to the attack. Geofi&ey Talbot, and his cousin Gilbert 
de Lacy, a man of prudence, and cautious and indefatigable 
in military imdertakings, were chosen to reconnoitre, and 
make the circuit of the town stealthily, and, as they hoped, 
unobserved. But, lo ! the governor's guard crying them, 
came upon them, and although Gilbert got away from the 
middle of the band, being more wary and resolute than the 
other, they surrounded and took Geoffrey, and threw him 

' An inadTerteiice^ or a miitake of the tianferiber ; Bath is twelve miles 
frtm Bristol. Our author has described both cities so well that it m&y be 
tnfeflred that he wrote from, his own observation, for which he must have 
had opportanities, if, as we suppose^ he was attached to the person of 
Stephen. 



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862 ACTS OF KING STEPHEN. [BOOK I. 

in fetters into the deepest dungeon of the castle. Gilbert 
having thus unhappily lost his cousin, returned to his 
comrades, and told them, sorrowfully, the mischance that 
had befallen him. Still they did not despair, but deter- 
mined to persevere, exhorting each other, and binding 
themselves unanimously to liberate GeoflQrey. Approaching 
Bath, they simimoned tiie bishop to treat with them, imder 
a solemn engagement for his safe conduct coming and 
returning. The bishop, worthy man, who gave credit to 
every word, and dwelt in his house with simplicity, like 
ano^er Jacob, was triumphantly seized by a stratagem of 
these impious men. They laid their sacrilegious hands on 
the preacher of the Gospel, the servant of the Lord's altars ; 
and that reverend minister of their common faith, whose 
office it was to dispense the bread of life, they covered with 
abuse, and threatened to hang, unless Geofi&ey was released. 
The bishop, therefore, was in a great strait, since his adver- 
saries could neither be softened by religion or by natural 
compassion; and his own party within the city (who as soon 
as the bishop was captured, closed the gates, and hastened 
to defend the walls) could afford him no relief He was, 
therefore, obliged to yield to their violence, and to give 
ord^ers that the prisoner should be imbound and given up 
to them ; whereas if he had reserved him to be delivered 
into the king's hands, the prisoner would have been subject 
to the punishment of death, and the bishop himself might 
have been exposed to reproach, or even run the risk of his 
own life : nor was it right or becoming a bishop to return 
evil for evil, and to be himself an ill-doer in order to injure 
ill-doers ; neither did reason require that for the sake of 
bringing another to disgrace he should expose himself to 
insult, ^ince it is plain that no one is dearer to a man than 
himself, and that no one is required to sacrifice his own life 
in exchange for that of another. The man, then, being 
surrendered, or, to speak more con*ectly, being by God's 
providence reserved for the punishment of his soul here- 
after, in order that the longer and more freely he persisted 
in his coiu'se of cruelty, the more severe might be his future 
torments, the bishop, assuming his pastoral authority, began 
to demand the fulfilment of their pledge, and to inquire 
what became of their solemn oath; to charge them with 



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A.D. 1188.] FBE£BOOTERS OF BfiISTOL« 353 

the violation of both, and to threaten them with discomfiture 
in their other enterprises, because, casting aside all reve- 
rence and shame, they appeared to have offended God in 
the present one. In reply to the bishop*s allegations they 
denied that they were sworn or pledged to him, as all rea- 
sonable persons must allow that the oaths of perjured men 
went for nothing, and that men who had broken faith could 
give no pledges. They said this jeering at the simplicity 
of the bishop, who had given credit to men who were steeped 
in peijury and perfidy. 

The Bristolians having licence for every sort of villainy, 
wherever they heard that the king or his adherents had 
estates or property of any description they eagerly floclied 
to them, like hoimds snatching rabidly at the carrion 
thrown into a kennel ; yokes of oxen, flocks of sheep, what- 
ever their hearts coveted or they cast their eyes on, was 
carried off, and sold or consumed. And when they had 
thrown into the lowest pit of destruction aU that was im- 
mediately within their reach and imder their hands, they 
quickly found their way into every part of England where 
they heard there were men of wealth and substance, and 
either violently laid hold of them, or got them into their 
power by firaud ; then, bandaging their eyes and stopping 
their mouths, either by cramming something into them, or 
insertmg a sharp and toothed bit, they conducted their 
captives, thus blmded, into the middle of Bristol, as we 
read of the robbers of Elisha, and there, by starvation and 
torture, mulcted them of their property to the last fiuihing. 
Others, pursuing a more crafty course, betook themselves 
to the quieter parts of the countiy, where peace and plenty 
prevailed, and the population lived in ease and security. 
They frequented the beaten and public highways in open 
day, disguising their names, their persons, and business ; 
they wore no kinr! of armour nor any distinguishing dress, 
nor did they swear and use violent language, as robbers 
generally do ; on the contrary, their appearance was hum- 
ble, their gait gentle, and they entered into courteous 
conversation with all persons they met, wearing the mask 
of this hypocrisy until they chanced to light upon some 
wealthy man, or could steal upon him in a lone place, upon 
which he was hurried off to Bristol, the dry nurse of aU 

A A 



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SfU JkCXn OF KISQ STEFiEBK. [bOOE I. 

England. This kind of robbeiy, under a^ur of false pie- 
tenees sad hTpocriticftl a{>pe«raDce8, so prevailed throughout 
the greatest part of Engleiid that there was scarcely a towa 
or village ivh^re tiiese frauds wero not practised, where 
traces of this abominable felony were not left Thnna 
neither the king*s hi^ways were safe, as they used to be, 
nor was there ihe accustomed confidence between man aiML 
man ; but as soon as a traveller espied a stranger on the 
road, he trembled with apprehension, and, fleeing from 
the alarming apparition, took refuge in a wood, or struck 
into a cross road, until he recovered courage enough to 
continue his journey with more resolution and in greater 
security. 

Reports reaching the king's ears timt the Bristolians 
were distuibing the kingdom by their open and secret 
robberies, though he had enough to do in other parts of 
the kingdom, he summoned tiie militia from all parts of 
England, and came unexpectedly to Bath, meaning to lay 
siege to Bristol. On his arrival being announced, tha 
bishop went oat of the city to meet him. In the outset 
of the conference, the king manifested great indignation 
against the bishop, for having set free from his custody the 
traitor Oeof&^ey, tiie enemy of peace and iji his countiy. 
But the bishop satisfied him by concurrent witnesses tl^ 
be had been grossly abused and well nigh hanged, and had 
borne the violence of the marauders with dignity ; so that 
the king was pacified, and, restoriag the bishop to favour^ 
was ccmdueted by him into Bath. The king having ex- 
amined the entire circiut of the city, and surveyed it all 
round, marked a spot very capable of defmce, m^ which 
defied assault; he tiiere^ore commanded the walls to be 
raised higher aod outwcarks to be constructed, and intrusted 
it to the guard of a strong body of soldiere, for the purpose 
of being a chedc on the Bristol people, who ware ord«[^ 
to be narrowly watched. From thence he marched to 
Bristol, the seat of fraud, and, halting his army near the 
city, he called a ooimcil of the barons, to consult with them 
how best the siege could be laid, how the place could be 
most ^Ifaily assaulted, and how soonest reduced. The 
advice he received was various and uncertain, some giving 
it in good faith, others treacherously. The one party re- 



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A.B. 1188.] SIEGE OF BBISTOL BEMNQT7ISHED. S5S 

oommended that ^e apppoadi to ^le city should be blodced 
up in its narrowest part witii a pile of huge stones, timbeE, 
and earth, to dose tiie -entrance of the port, so that succour 
by sea, on which Ihe citizens principaMy robed, might be 
cut ofif, and that the curresxt of the rivers which, as I stai. 
before, surround the city, being dammed up, the watecs 
might stagnate and be collected in a deep pool, as in a sea, 
and quidily overflow and drown the place. They iJeo<MBti- 
mended also that forts should be constructed in both 
quarters of the city, to prevent ingress or egress by the 
bridges connecting them, while the king himself ^otdd sit 
down before the castle :for a time, and dii^^s the garrison 
by famine and oth^ su!ffenngs. But this wise and prudeirt 
counsel was o|^osed by the other pasrty, consisting |wmci- 
pally of those vi^o, though Ihey were in Stephen's camp, 
were sewetly Hib earl's adherents. These said that it 
would be a work of time, and indeed a bootless tmdeiv 
taking, to attempt to dam up the channel with timber axkL 
stones and any such materials; for it was OOTtam th^t 
whatever was thrown in would be swallowed up in the greait 
depth of the bed of the river, or would be swept -away mad 
lost in the reflux of the tide ^ 

Swayed by these representations, the king ail^ndoiied 
the proposed siege, and halving laid wasrte the country 
round Bristol, and destroyed or carried off the phmder, b& 
set on foot expeditions against two cas^s, Carith and 
Harpetreu^ the one belonging to * * * named Luvel, 
the oth^ to William Mix John. Bolh were in dosie 
aMiance with the earP, and so oonfed^ated with him by 
oaths and leagues, and bound by their homage, that no 
sooner were they informed of his intention to make head 
against ihe royal power, than they "flew to arms to second 
his cause. Receiving tdso information that the king pro- 
posed to sit down before Bristol, and being of opinion that 
^e siege would be long protracted, they agreed together 
feithfolly to aid the earl by making hostile inroads, and 

* There wm some raagen in this, considering the extraordinary rise and 
strength of the tides in the river Avon, as well as in the river Wye ; and in 
the Severn, into which these rivers flow. 

■'* Castle-carr and Harptree, two villages in Somersetshire south-west Of 
Bristol and fiath. * Of Qlonoester. 

AA ^ 



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356 AOTB OF KING STEPHEN. [BOOK I; 

harassing the mhabitants of all the neighbouring districts. 
But the king lost no time in investing Carith, and pressing 
the siege with vigour, throwing, by his machines, showers 
of missiles and fire without intermission among the garri^ 
son, and reducing them to starvation; so that at last he 
forced them to surrender on terms of submission and 
alliance. They could not hold out any longer, as they 
were weakened by want of food, neither had the earl, their 
hope and refuge, arrived in England ; nor could the Bris- 
tol men march to their relief, in consequence of the supe- 
riority of the royal force. The terms of the treaty being 
ratified, the king marched to Harptree, where he proposed to 
erect a fort and place in it a proper garrison ; but it was 
suggested to him that the garrison of tbis castle could also 
be conveniently held in check by the troops he had sta- 
tioned at Bath, as the distance was short, and the commu- 
nication between the two easy; whereas it would be a 
costly and troublesome undertaking to establish the warlike 
engines required for a siege in several places at once. At a 
subsequent period, however, when the king was passing this 
castle in his advance with a large force to lay siege to Bristol, 
the garrison sallied forth and hung on his rear ; whereupon 
he instantly countermarched his troops, and, spurring their 
horses, they made a detour, and reached the castle in time 
to find it almost deserted. Without a moment's delay, 
some set fire to the castle gates, others raised scaling 
ladders against the walls, and all being encouraged by the 
king to the utmost exertions, the castle, having few defend* 
ers, was stormed, and left under a guard of his own troops 
and the protection of Providence. 

After his success at Carith, the king's attention was 
called, without intermission, to the state of affairs in some 
part or other of England, and he was constantly in arms 
leading his troops from one quarter to another. As it is 
feibled of the hydra of Hercules, that as fast as one of its 
heads was lopped off Inore sprung forth, so it was, in a 
special manner, with the labours of King Stephen; one 
ended, others stiQ more difficult succeeded, and, like another 
Hercules,, he applied himself to the task with invincible 
energy. We read of the endless wars and difficulties, and 
toils of Saul, and many other kings ; but Ihey are not to be 



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A.D, 1188.] SXEPHEli's PIFFIOULHES, 857 

C(»npared to the pressure of those in which Stephen was 
inTolved, by his attacks on others, by the loss of his adhe- 
rents, and by the accidents of fortune. Such and so vast 
were his labours, that they must appear fearful and almost 
incredible to the reader. We read tdso of the great struggles 
of the Maccabean kings for restoring their countiy to tran- 
quillity ; we have heard of the wonderful wars of Alexander 
i^ainst foreign nations, and of the various conflicts of other 
lungs in defence of tiiieir own subjects ; but Uie struggles 
and contests of King Stephen will be found to have been 
still more severe and harassing ; and the more vexatious, 
because they were with his own coimtrymen, and with his 
subjects conspiring against him. The word of God beareth 
witness, that the persecutions of familiar Mends are the 
most painful and bitter, where it complains most of 
one " who did eat of his Mend's bread," and yet " lifted 
up his heel against him."^ So in another place, it saith, 
** A man's enemies are those of his own household."^ One 
of the philosophers also remarks, " There is no mere grie- 
vous plague than a faithless Mend." Let those, then, who 
wish to read and imderstand the marvels of history, care- 
fully consider what it teaches. 

Meanwhile, the troops left at Bath by King Stephen, to 
make it good against tlie men of Bristol, maintained them- 
selves vigorously, using every means their art could devise 
to render the walls and ramparts impregnable, manning 
them by night with armed warders, who changed the watch 
by turns ; and sometimes issuing forth in the dead of the 
night, and placing parties in ambush at posts suitable for 
concealment By day, also, large bodies of coimtiy folk 
and men-at-arms marched out, and overrun the lands of ihe 
Bristoliaus, now in one quarter, then in another; and 
sometimes they made their appearance on a sudden with 
their whola force at the very city gates, as if they were 
going to give an assault, setting Are to churches and houses, 
and whatever it was possible to reduce to ashes*. .... 

» Psalm xli. 9. « Matt. x. 36. 

' Our Ms. having supplied us with very circumstantial details of trans- 
actions in the west of England, on which both Malmesbury and Hnntingdon 
are silent, it here &ils. When we find it again perfect, the author is evi- 
dently speaking, though the name is not mentioned, of the astute and 



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8(iiS AOTS OF KING STEFHBN. [BOOK I. 

supported hy Ms numerous fri^iub, and the vast 

power oi his lordly <lonunion, was eonsideBsd second osdy to^ 
the* king in the goyemment of the kingdom. Though he stood 
high IB the rojal favour, bei&g the kmg*s justiciary, and was 
ocmsnlted h^rhim on all speckd afibirs, he was more aittadied 
to the children of the lale King Henry, and disposed to serve 
them fjEuthfiilly, and as^st them efieetuaily . For he promised 
them, hut secretly, Hu^ he might noto^Bend the king, to place 
at then: disposal the casdes which he had ehtborately orna- 
mented and fortified, and prc^sely stored with arms and 
provisions, watching the opportunity, while in ihe interval he 
jMTudentiy suhmitted to the king, of rendering them prompt 
and vigorous aid on their landing in England. Expecting 
their speedy arrival {fewr they often apprised him oi th^r 
intention from Normandy), he strengthened himself, by . 
enlisting large bodies of troops to be turned over to their 
service, and wherever he journeyed, and esq[>ecially when he 
went to court, he was attended by a vast body of Mends 
and retainers ; and while, in the mean time, he satisfied the 
king on this head, and others to whom he made himsdf 
agreeable and welcome, he was prepared forthwith to take 
the side of those whose arrival was expected. Of the same 
faction were his nephews, the Bishops of Lincoln^ and Ely, 
lordly men of daring pretensions, who, neglecting the 
duties befitting the purity and simplicity of tl^ir ehnstian 
profession, surrounded themselves with milit^uy and secular 
pomp, so that when they went to court, the number of 
their escort became the wonder of all behold^^. The Eari. 
of Mellent, and others of the king's private and most inti^ 
mate friends, were offended at l£e magnificence thus dis^ 
played by the bishops; and, setting no bounds to their 
jealousy and hatred, th^ instilled into the king's mind 
many weighty charges against them. They alleged that 
these bishops used their pre-eminence in the kingdom, the 
influence of their wealth, and the power of then* retainers> 

powerfhl Bishop of SaliBbmy, bo ofien mentioned in the- latter portions of the 
present Tolume. 

' Alexander, bishop of Lincoln, was the king's chancellor, and, after the 
Bishop of Salisbury, the most powerful prelate in England. Alexander built 
Ae strong castles of Newark and Sleaford, and Roger those of Sherborne, 
DefTizes Mahnesbury, and Salisbury. 



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A.9. ildO.J ARBE91! OF TMB BBSHOPS FBOPOSED. 859 

net to> ipaifttain the kmg^s digmtj,. but to forward their own 
pvidtB and profit; and that ihay had erected stately and 
stvon^-fortified castles, not to secure the king's throne, 
bst to enaUe them to strip him of his dignity, and to plot 
ji§ainst tiae hooour of his crown. Wherefore, they said, it 
iwald be advisable, and the peace of the kingdom required, 
tiwt th^ should be hud hold of and k^t in custody, until 
they surrendered into the king's hainds, as pertaining to 
Hie royal honours, their castles, and whatever other means 
they had of creating war and disturbances ; but whatever 
rights bdonged to them as eeidesiastics, to religum, and 
ih^ episcopal fimdaons, should be left to Iheir own dis- 
posal, as due reverence and co&olic usage required. If, 
there£oce, the king, relying on his own courage and pru- 
dence, sihould be (^>oeed to acquiesce in their suggestions, 
he diovld prr?ately arrest these persons, not as bi^ops, but 
as transgressors of the episcopal rate, and as under sus- 
pidon of practising against the peace of the king and the 
reahn ; and they should be detained in custody until they 
gave up their stron^iolds, rendering imto Ceesar the things 
whkh were Caesar's : the king would thus be rendered 
seeuie, and the country tranquil, when relieved from the 
suspicions of creating disturbances imputed to the bishops. 
On receiving this advice, continually instilled more from 
^Kfj and su^^ion than ^e love of holiness and justice, 
the kieig was in great distress of mind, both because it was 
a gra:ve afiGur, and illegal to lay violent hands upon men of 
1^ sacred order, and because it was UBjast and wrong not 
to give a £ur hearing to men who were his privy counsel- 
lors, and filled the highest offices in his court. At last, 
however, overcome by the hnpartunities of Ihose who so 
continually and boldly ui^ed birn, he ccmsented to take the 
measures against the bishops which they represented to be 
i&r his own honour and the peace of the realm. He was 
kd to this by foolidi, not to say mad counsels ; lor if it is 
vnrong and forbidden to injure any man, according to what 
is written, " Do not to others what you would not have 
dime to yourself;" much more is it disgraceful and un- 
allowable to exhibit violence of any sort against the highest 
minister of the holy altars. In men's eyes it appears a gross 
transgression, but in the sight of God the greatest sin. 



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360 ACTS OF KINa STEPHEN [BOOK I. 

For the Lord said by the prophet, ♦'Whoso toucheth you 
toucheth the pupil of mine eye ;" and in the Gospel, " He 
"who despiseth you, despiseth me.** And that no such pre- 
sumptuous dishonour, or dishonourable violence be dcme 
to the servants of his holy altar, He admonishes by the 
prophet, saying, " Touch not my anointed." For my part, 
I boldly and assuredlv declare, tliat no offence draws down 
more sharply and suadenly the Almighty's vengeance, than 
insult by word or deed against those who officiate at his 
holy altars. Thus the sons of Korah, because they set 
themselves up with pride and arrogance against their priests, 
were not only reprobate before God, but were swallowed up 
alive, and perished. Saul, also, who impiously persecuted 
the Lord's priests, was not only in the eyes of the Lord 
rejected from his Idngdom, but was slain in a bloody battla 
With these few words, employed for the correction of the 
contemners of God's ministers, I return to my subject 

The bishops having come to courts as before observed, 
with great pomp, a sudden quarrel was raised between 
their followers^ and the king's soldiers, upon which the 
Earl of Mellent, the crafty conspirator, witih some others 
who belonged to Hie royal party, particularly those who 
were privy to the scheme before mentioned, seized their 
arms, and, collecting their partisans, threw themselves on 
the bishops' followers; slaying some, taking others priso- 
ners, and shamefully putting tiie rest to flight, leaving all 
they possessed in their adversaries' hands. Eetuming to 
the kmg, as if they had trimnphed over an enemy, the mal- 
contents, having held counsel together, hastened in a body 
to arrest the bishops as traitors. Beport says, that the 
bishops having heard of the shameful treatment of their 
people, they were preparing for flight, when the king's 
guards forcibly entering their inn, and finding the Bishops 
of Salisbury and Lincoln, while aU present were in amaze- 
ment at the violence, they hastily brought them to the 

* Malmesbnry and Hnntingdon inform vlb that King Stephen was then 
at Oxford. The former tells us that a great assembly of the nobles was 
held there on the 24th of Jane, 1189, at which probably the discussions 
just related in the text took placie, ending in the arrest of the bishops soon 
after their arrival. 

» Malmesbnry gives some farther details. See his " Modem History,*' p. 
499, '*Bohn*s Antiquarian Library." 

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A.]>. 1139.] THE BI8H0PS SUBBENDEB THEIB CASTLES. 361 

king's presence. Mean^diile, the Bishop of Ely, hearing 
what was going on, and being more wary and active, made 
his escape, after a long and hasty journey, to his uncle's 
castle at Devizes, where he prepared to offer a stout resistance 
to the king. Upon hearing that the Bishop of Ely had taken 
arms, the king was persuaded that what had been repre- 
sented to him falsely and maliciously was true, and became 
inflamed with so much greater resentment against the 
bishops, that he determined to dispossess them entirely of 
their fortresses. He went, therefore, to Devizes, the Bishop 
of Salisbury's castle, of admirable architecture, and impreg- 
nably fortified, bringing with him the two bishops strictly 
guarded, and commanding them to be separately confined 
in two foul places^, and to be subjected to severe fastings^. 
Eoger, the king's chancellor, and son^ of the Bishop of 
Salisbury, being arrested and thrown into chains, would 
have been hung on a lofty gallows before the castle gate, 
if the Bishop of Ely had not, in the end, yielded up the 
castle and admitted the royal troops. The bishops were 
tortured with extreme anguish of mind, while it was evident 
to all that they would be the general laughing-stock, and 
that even their lives were in danger, if they did not yield 
the castles, which they had taken great pains in erecting, 
and which they highly valued, to Ihe king's disposal. By 
the advice of their friends, of whom there were but few 
about the royal person, they were recommended and strongly 
enjoined that, to obtain their release from the unseemly 
confinement in which they were detained, they should sub- 
mit themselves entirely to the king's will ; more especially 
since the things of .Csesar were to be given to Caesar, and 
that life must be purchased at any cost. 

This castle, therefore, and the others they possessed, 
being surrendered to the king's hands, the bishops, humbled 
and mortified, and stripped of all pomp and vain glory, 
were reduced to a simply ecclesiastical life, and to the pos- 
sessions belonging to them as churchmen ; being compelled 

* '' The continuator of Flor. Yigorn. adds, that one was confined in the 
crib of an ox-lodge, the other in a vile hovel." — SeweU. 

^ MaJmesbnry says that the Bishop of Salisbury voluntarily enjoined him- 
self abstinence from food. 

' By Maude of Bamsbury, his concubine. Malmesbury calls him " the 
nephew, or, as it was reported, more than the nephew, of the bishop.*' 



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S6^ ACI8 OF KDX^ SIKFSOM. [fSOOK li 

aha to ghro up, tiwag^ with an ill gracoy ihtt aims azut 
money which were stored in their caBtlies. Matters beiag 
so settled, we cannot but admire the kill's unexpected 
turn of il^rtune ; for when he had iieady exhausted his 
treasury in the defence of his crown, he suddenly entered 
into the labours of others, and wiaat report said was stored 
in the casdes, for his injury and detnmexrt. Jell into his 
hands, to his honour and profit, without any care of his 
own. After tiiis, a synod was hdd^ in England, in which 
it was decreed that all munitions of war, and asylimis of 
disaffection belonging to the bisJitops, should pass to tba 
king as his own property. At this synod the lung, having 
been pubMcly accused of the violence o£Sered to the bishops, 
defended himself and his officers by what 1^ considered 
valid and sufficient reasons. But whereas it was justly 
declared, and dearly adjudged, by the whole dcrgy, that it 
was unlawful, under any pretence, to lay hands on the 
Lord's servants, the long abated the rigour of ecclesiastical 
discipline by making humble submission;, aod, laying aside 
his royal robes, with a sorrowful mind and contrite spirit, 
ke humbly acknowledged the guilt of his offence. 

At that time ^ WiUiam de Mohun, a man not only of the 
highest rank but of illustrious descent, raised a formidable 
insurrec^n against the king; for, getting together some 
bands of ibot-soldiers in his strong-JiokL, which was plea- 
santly situated on ih& sea-shore and i^ongly fortified, he 
made fierce inroacis and swept, as with a s^rm, all that part 
of England. At all times and in aH plsyees humanity was 
fwgotten, and crudtty had ftdl scope : he reduced to subjec- 
tion l^vic^ence not only his neighbours but the inhabitants 
of remote districts ; whoever resisted was relentlessly pur- 
aoed with rapine and plunder, and fire and svrord; when men 
of substanoe fiell into his hands they wese put in chains and 

' This synod was ^Id at Wincliester in the end of Anguat the same 
year. See Malmesbnrj and Huntingdon. The former gives a long accoant 
of the contnyversy between the bishops and the king, bat says notfamg «f 
Stephen's submission. In this instance his nanative is at total yanance 
with that of our anonymous author. Huntingdon's short account of the 
affair agrees with Malmesbury. 

^ Our author now turns again to the west of England, and furnishes de- 
tails of transactions there, in the autumn, we suppose, of the year 1139, of 
which no other English writer of that day has given any account 



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1U>. IIS9.] DE MOBUN AT DUNSTEB CAflTLE. 849 

miisQrably IxivtuFed; and by sueh acts he changed the fafie 
of the con&trj, from peaee and qidet, amd joy and merrimeat, 
into a scene ctf grief and lamentation. When, after a time, 
Ibese proceedings were reported to the king, he collected his 
IbUowevs in great force, and proceeded by fenced marches to 
check the barbarities of William de Mohun^. But when he 
hatted before the entrance of the castle^ and saw the 
immense strength of its pointion, inaccessible on one side 
-where it was washed by die sea, and fortified on the other 
by tx)wers and walls with a ditch and oatworics, he totally 
despaired of carrying it by storm; and, a wiser counsel 
prevailing, he established a fortified post within si^t of the 
eiMmy, by means of which he proposed to restrain their 
mcnrsions and give security to the neighbouring countiy. 
The king, therefore, gave orders to Henry de Tracy, a good 
knight of much experience in war, that, actmg on his behaH^ 
as he himself was wanted in other quarters, he should with 
all speed and vigour make head against the enemy. Henry, 
therefore, in the king's absence and fiirmshed with the 
royal licence, drew >out from Barnstaple, his own town, 
and made such resolute attacks on William de Mohim's 
retainers, that he not only checked their usual expeditions 
through the coimtry, and restrained their plundering inroads, 
but he took 104 horse-soldiers in a single encounter. At 
length he so reduced and humbled William, that he desisted 
from attacking him any more, and left the cotmtry in tran- 
quillity and entirely free from his disturbances. 

Henry de Tracy, by his valour, not only reduced William 
de Mohun, but other obstinate perverters of the country 
and disturbers of the king's peace. Among these, espe- 
cially, was William Fitz-Odo, a man of vast possessions 
and great wealth, who frugally managed his estates as long 
as there was peace, te^ng not even a twig fix>m his neigh- 
bours, nor even the smallest customary ^ frx>m any man 
whatever; but when the troubles broke out, he also took 
arms against the king along with the rest. But Henry, 
acting with vigour on the king's behalf, enfeebled him by 
frequent encounters, and after a time it was reported to him 

" William de Mohun, or Moiun, was lord of Dunster castle, the sitnatioii 
of which on the shore of the Bristol Channel is well described in this and 
a preceding paragraph, as its ruins still show. 



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804 ACTS OF KSXa STEPHEN. [BOOE X« 

by his scouts that William's castle was left empty by Jm 
soldiers who had gone out to plimder. Approaching it, 
therefore, with a party of his followers in the silence of 
the night, and evading the watch, he stealthily crept dose 
to the castle, and, throwing lighted brands through the 
apertures of the towers, set fire to the chambers within. 
The lord of the castle was taken half burnt, and all his 
possessions, with immense hoards of money, by the king's 
permission, fell to the lot of Henry. On many other 
occasions he encountered the king's adversaries with 
courage and fidelity, as I shall relate in this history in the 
proper place. 

While these disturbances of different kinds were taking 
place throughout England, Baldwin,^ a man it is said <^ 
gentle birth, and an Englishman, who had been driven into 
bamshment by the king, landed at Wareham with a bold 
and spirited band of soldiers, and being let into Corfe Castle, 
one of the strongest places in all England, he and his 
followers prepared themselves to hold it stoutly against the 
king, who, report said, was at hand. No sooner, indeed, waa 
the king informed by his adherents of Baldwin's arrival, 
than he put himself without a moment's delay at the head 
of such of his people as could be soonest mustered, and 
appeared suddenly before the castle for the purpose of 
besiegmg Baldmn. He spent much time there in the 
attempt to distress the enemy with his engmes of war, ch* to 
reduce them by fEunine ; but at last, on good counsel, h^ 
raised the siege and permitted Baldwin to go unmolested, 
the more so as he received inteUigence that Kobert, earl of 
Gloucester, and his sister, the determined pretenders to his 
kingdom, had combined their forces and were on the point 
of invading England. Being anxious that they should not 
effect a landing unawares, he gave orders that all the ports 
should be watched day and night, thinking it of. mora 
importance to oppose with his utmost efforts the chiefs of 
the enemy's party, than that, while devoting his whole 
attention to Baldwin, he should suffer them to obtain a 

> Baldwin de Rivers, whose conduct during and after the riege of Exeter 
forms a leading feature in the early part of our author's narrative. See 
before, pp. 337 to 344. It will be recollected that he was exiled and took 
refuge at the court of the Cotmt of Anjou. 



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▲.D. 1139-40.] ANARCHY OF THE KINGDOM. 365 

footing against him. But it is written, learning aad wisdom, 
amd prudence and counsel, are nothing against the Lord; 
and human cunning cannot escape what has heen ordained 
by Providence. We know that subjects are scourged some- 
times for their own, sometimes for their rulers' transgres- 
sions; as it is recorded that the people of Israel, who had 
often oflfended God, were frequently pimished by wars and 
pestilence, and that for the adulteries of Solomon and 
David the people were in the one case plagued by the hand 
of an angel, in the other grievously vexed by their enemies. 

The !EiQglish nation, lost in luxury and idleness, enervated 
by excess and drunkenness, and puffed up with pride and 
arrogance, had often provoked God'a anger ; and Iheir great 
men, pursuing this scandalous course of life, abandoned 
themselves stUl more grossly to every sort of illicit connec- 
tion, and to all superfluity of eating and drinking, to every- 
thing, in short, which is most vicious and most destructive 
to the soul, without restraint and without penitence. Thus 
the Almighty was greatiy displeased with them, and his 
wrath was stirred up against them, and it was no wonder 
that England was torn by so many dissensions, wasted by 
internal wars, and stained ever3rwhere by crimes : for it is 
an admitted truth that grievous sins can only be expiated 
by severe punishments, and that the more a man is aban- 
doned to wickedness, the more he is fitted for suffering its 
consequences. Thus it was said to Babylon, " Forasmuch 
as she was highly exalted and in great prosperity, so shall 
be her torments and her lamentations." Hence it arose 
tiiat although Stephen had devoted all his military skill to 
tlie restoration of peace in his realm, although he had been 
indefatigable in leading his ti*oops against the enemy, all his 
unceasing efforts were of no avail ; because, to use the words 
of the prophet, in all that had happened, **the anger of the 
Lord was not turned away, and his hand was stretched out 
still ;" and his grievous indignation vexed them more and 
more, until Gomorrah should fill her cup of offences, and 
the Ethiopian change his skin; so He hardened Himself 
without mercy against all the inhabitants of England. 

While the king's attention was directed to other quarters, 
tixough he had given orders that the harbours on the coast 
should be strictiy guarded, Eobert, earl of Gloucester, and 



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M6 ACTS CfF KING 8TBPH£K. [BOOK I. 

his sister die Ccmntess of Asjou, landing at Arundel witk a 
strong body of soldiers, were received into the castle and 
hospitably entertained \ All England was strode with alarm, 
mtd men's minds were agitated in various ways : those who 
either secretly or qwnly favoured the invadars were roused 
to more than usual activity against the king, while his ofwu 
partisans wero tenified as if a thunderboit had fallen. 
But the king, who had never despaired in all the mischances 
of the wars and insuireetioiis, now with mistaken ^Lrmness, 
aod without a moment's delay, put himsdf at the head <^ a 
light-armed and discipHned body of troops, and by foorced 
marches appeaned boldly before the castle of Arundd. 
There, learning from his trusty scouts that the earl had got 
away by night, and was on his road to Bdstol^ bat that his 
sister, with her folkrwers from Anjou, sttU remained in the 
castle where she had disembarked, he heit part of his troo^ 
to prevent her esci^ during his abscDce, and pursued the 
earl with the re^t, intent on making hkn prisoner. 
Finding, however, diat he could not aocomplish his puipose 
— ^for the earl had not gone by the hi^ road, but had 
betakai himself to bye ways — he quiddy retraced his steps 
for the purpose of continuing the siege of those who were 
blockaded in the castle. Meanwhile, the Bishop of Win* 
dhester, hearing of their arrival, caused all the crossroads to 
be beset by troops, and at last, as report was, encountering 
the eaii, entered into amicable rdations with him, and 
allowed him to proceed withcmt opposkion. This rqx>rt» 
however, contradicts all sound conclusions ; and it is u;tiieiiy 
incredible that the king's bvother ^ould receive with a 
frientdly embrace the invader of his lm)4her's kingdom, smd 
should permit him to pasi immolated while he was b^it on 
urging the most serious pretensions to the crown. The 
bishop, however, joined the king with annmeroiiss retdnne of 
knights and men-at-azms, as if he had not&Ueii in with ithe 
earl; and &»ling ths^ the kre^ was detenained on pres^n^ 

1 The earl and his sister the coimtess landed, August 31, at Anindel^ 
where she was kindly received, at first, by her mother-in-law, the queen- 
dowager of Henry I. Malmesbxuy says that the earl had only 160 horse- 
men with hira, of whom twelve "scarcely" formed his retimie in his snisse- 
quent march across the ooimtry to Bristol. MahneShory considers the earl 
to have been not inferior in undannted bravery te Julias Oesar. 



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U..IX 1140.] THE JSMPBESS MAUD AT SSI6T0L. 367 

the siege, he represented that his policy was as unacceptable 
to him as it would be to the kingdom. For while the kio^ 
sat down to blodiade the Couaatess of Anjou in one comei: 
of the kingdom, her brother would speedUy raise an insur- 
rection and disturb the country in another quarter ; so that 
it would be more advisable for himself, and tend more to 
the public advantage, to allow her to join her brother with- 
out hindrance, that both, with their respective forces, being 
thus miited at one point, he might attempt to crush them 
with greater feicility, and might combine all his own troops 
in an immediate and sharp attack of their position. A s^ 
conduct was therefore given, ratified by oaths, for the 
countess to have free passive to her brother; the king 
trusting that he could defeat them with greater ease wheoi 
both were confined to one part of the country. On their 
lundval at Bristol they announced their arrival to all the 
barons of the realm, intreating them, devoutly and sorrow- 
fully, to come to their aid, and promising honorary rewards 
to some, to others an augmentation of their domains, while 
they required all to accompUsh their object by every means 
in iheir power, iuccordingly, all their adherents, who had 
hitiierto pdd a faithless and hollow submission to the king, 
breaking their oaths and the feally they had pledged hjm, 
came over to the earl and coimtess, and wi& one mind 
entering into a league against the king, rose against him in 
aU quarters with great vrfiemenoe. 

There was ait that time one Bhan Fitz-Count, a man of 
illustrious descent and high dignity, who, being greatly 
^ated at the late arrival, strengthened his castle at Walling- 
ford with a ntunerous body of troops, as^ broke into active 
and determined rebelllion against the king. Milo, also, 
lord of Gloucester, of whom I have already given a short 
notice, falsifying the fealty which he had sworn to the 
long, set himsdf against him with great resolution, and 
taking into his service all the king's enemies who flocked to 
him, desolated the whole of the districts adjoining the 
coimty of Gloucester. And now as far as the remotest 
borders of England, vast herds of cattle were driven ofF, and 
all those who were known to be faithful and loyal to the 
king were harassed with fire and sword : in one place the 
king and his adherents were continually betrayed by 



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368 ACTS OF KING STEPHEN. [BOOE I. 

treachery, in another the lands of his supporters, with their 
substance, were cruelly denuded and made a des^i;. Not 
only the persons I have named, but some others also, who 
were before sworn confederates of the king, now bursting 
the ties of amity and concord, set no bounds to their 
aggressions; but, rising with fiiry in all parts of England^ 
perpetrated everywhere without remorse whatever their 
savage humour suggested. Meanwhile, King Stephen, 
imappalled at the tide of evils with which he was sur- 
rounded, with indomitable courage collected his forces into 
one powerful army, and was bent on crushing each of his 
enemies in turn. First, therefore, marching to Walling- 
ford with a great force, he proposed to reduce it by a close 
blockade; but, listening to the better counsel of his barons, 
he postponed that design for the present. They asserted, 
as the fact was, that the castle was so strongly fortified as 
to defy an assault from any quarter ; that it was stored with 
provisions for the supply of many years; that it was 
garrisoned by troops in the flower of youth, and confident in 
&eir strength ; and that he could not maintain his present 
position without the greatest peril, as his army was both 
liable to daily assaults by the garrison of the castle, and it 
was also exposed to open or secret attacks from the enemy 
who were in arms agsdnst him on all sides. They therefore 
said that it would be the wisest counsel, that, having erected 
two forts and placed in them a sufficient number of troops 
to maintain a blockade, he should divert his attention to 
other quarters, by which means he might at the same time 
coerce the besieged troops, and make an immediate and 
unexpected attack on some other body of the insurgents. 

Having therefore in all haste run up two forts over 
against the castle, the king marched with the utmost expe 
dition towards the town of Trowbridge, which Hmnphrey 
de Mohun, by the advice and at the instigation of Milo, 
bad fortified with impregnable works against the king. 
In the course of his march he had the great good fortune 
to take by assault the castle of Oeme^, which Milo had 

1 William of Malmesbury relates that this Fitz-Hubert had seized this 
castle, one of those founded b^r Bishop Boger, only a fortnight before. This 
historian gives a shorter account of Stephen's successes and reverses in this 
expedition^ vhich took place in the month of October, than our author, who 



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A.D. 1189.J BLOCKADE 07 WALLINGFOBD CASTLE. 809 

built to encourage the insurrection; and also to receive 
the surrender of the strongly-fortified town of Malmesbury^ 
in which he took prisoner Kobert Fitz-Hubert, with his 
followers, a man of great cruelty, imequaUed in villainy and 
crime. But the fate of war is uncertain, and the changing 
fortune of our age now raises a man high, and presently casts 
him down to the lowest depth : thus, after these successful 
events, the king met with a sudden and unexpected mis- 
chance. For while he was on his march to Trowbridge, 
Milo, a man of a most active mind, and always ready for bold 
deeds, rode to Wallingford by night with a chosen body of 
soldiers, and feU with so much impetuosity on the troops 
left there by the king, that they were forced to yield, so 
that some being wounded and otiiers slain, and all the rest 
being made prisoners and boimd with fetters, he returned 
to his own castle with the glory of a brilliant victory. This 
severe reverse to the king's troops at that spot may clearly 
be attributed to his having converted the church, from a 
seat of religion and house of prayer, into a fortified post, 
and allowed it to be made a place of war and slaughter. 
For a church is built to be the house of God and the house 
of prayer; and to make it the habitation of men of war, 
must certainly be offensive to Him. "Wherefore, since it is 
written, that no sin shall go unpunished, and that with 
the measure with which we measure, it shjdl be measured 
unto us again, we do not speak foolishly when we assert 
that this befell the king, because he converted the house of 
peace and mercy into an asylum for war and discord. 

After this successful enterprise, Milo turned his whole 
attention to the means of annoying the king and his adhe- 
rents ; he therefore assembled at Gloucester all those whose 
possessions the king had wasted, or who were for any 
reason hostile to him ; both because the place was strong 
and well stored with all necessaries, and numbers thus 
embodied from different quarters could make more bold and 
secure attacks ; and thus he engaged in many enterprises 
with glory and success. I will not recoimt the immense 
booty which he collected from every quarter, the villages in 

appears to have been particnlarly well infonned of all tbat pasted in the 
west of England, often the principal seat of war daring these troublesome 

BB 



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fffO Aow ov mxaa ffrnprnmu (book x. 

fames, smd townB deserted, tlie po|iiilation of ail degrees 
batehered or bound widi thongB uDtH thej iinere raaaomed: 
it is better to mouni over tiiese calaznities than to relate 
Ifeem. But it is wor^y of notice sespecting tibe roysd ea&tles 
IB the counties of Gloucester and Hereford, the garrisons 
of which crowed the people witk £earfiil tyranny, that some 
he took by assault and razed to the gcound, while he gfk^e 
osiers into the possession of his adherents : in, one instance 
Biaking prisoners ai part of the garrisaai and driving out 
li!ie rest, as at Winchcomb ; in others by surrender after a 
vigorous assault, a» at Oecne and the city of Herefosd. 
Nor must it be omitted, thathe was so futhfiil and ccmstant 
to the &mily of King Henry, that he was not only thear 
abettor, but he entertained the Coimtess of Aiijou. and her 
ivtinue, filling ^be place of a fatho: to her botli in council 
and action S until the king being in the end a captive and a 
prisoner, as I shall show in the sequel, he establi^ed her 
as queen throughout aE England. Meanwbile, the king 
arriving at Trowbridge, and finding the place carefully f(^- 
fied, and the garrison prepared for all extremities, nor likely 
to surrender without a desperate struggle, he set to work to 
construct engines with great toil, that he might press the 
siege with vigour. But his eflForts were firuifless, for tihe 
besieged w^e neither injured by his machines, nor at all 
daimted by his Mockade, though it was long and strict. 
The barons, ther^ore, who were present at the siege, some 
wearied out by its being long protcacted, and others who 
were their felse and treacherous comrades, united in appre- 
hensions that the Earl of Gloucester would collect all his 
forces and suddenly attack them. The king, therefore, con- 
sulting his friends, retired to London to rally his strength, 
and then advance where fortune summoned him to some 
safer enterprise. He left, however, in the castle at Devizes 
for the annoyance of Trowbridge, to which it •was near, a 
chosen and disciplined body of soldiers, and the imo parties, 
alternately, by their hostile incursicms reduced all the neigh- 
douring country to a desolate solitude. 

In these days died Roger, bishop of Salisbury, who while 
he excelled all the great nobles of the kingdom in wealth 

> Mahneibury, who give* a high ehaiacter of the Bari of Glouceitcr, 
asBerts that he magnanimously refused the crown, when it was offered him. . 



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A.Bw 11319.] DEATH OF THE BISHOP OV SALISBUBY. 871 

snd magnifieeitee as wdl as in his great Abilities, jet he 
wafi broken down ancl comfdetdj enervated hj hxsjory ; and 
a single Yice, impas^j, tamted wbaterier virtues be pos- 
sessed ^. He left in m& cbivek at Salasbnsj immense sums 
of mone J, and a vast quantLtj of {dale, both of gold aad 
silver, exq^uisftely and splendidly ureugjit, aU wMcb, the 
€9mms approTmg, nay, even makrng the offer, Holl into the 
kmg's bands, with many other ar^es wkdaik the bishop 
liad eolleeted m his treasury; not knowing, as the Psahnist 
observes, iot whom he heaped them, npv ai!^ like the rioh 
man in the Gospel to ^dDoau ii was said, " This m^t thy 
«cml ^lall be leqcdred of tliee; whose th^n sh^ those 
tl^aigsbe whidi thou hast gotten ?" Theidng applied part 
ei ikte mcmej to roo(fing the churdai^ part he bestowed for 
retierizig the wants of the canox^ ; anii^ke diureh6S,.knd8, 
and possessions, which the biehop had appropriated, timir 
ing ^e nuns, deprived of their pastors^ inta handmaids — all 
li^e he treeky restored to the ^m'ches and to ecclesiastical 
uses, and, reinstating the two efamrches of Mahnesbury and 
Amesbmry hi their ancient spkndonr, caused the abbots 
of those monastaries to be caoonieally enthroned. 

When the Bishq^ of Ely was informed of his uncle's 
death ^, he determined to put in execution what he had long 
plotted against the king, both that he mi^, as far as was 
in his power, hove satisfaction for the injuries his undo 
had su^ered at the king's hands, as I have before related, 
and also aid the children of King Henry in recovering the 
eiown, to the utmost of his power. Laying aside, therefore, 

^ Oar author probably alludes to the connection with Maude of Eamsbury. 
See p. 361. William of Malmesbury has treated this bishop's character fully 
and impartially. See his ** Modem History/' p. 507. Henry of Huntingdon, 
who, on the whole, speaks fikTouiably of him, sajs thi^ he died worn out 
vifth age, and grief for the seTerity with which Stephen had recently 
treated him, with which Malmesbury agrees. He died in the month of 
December, 1139. 

• The year on whicb we are now entering, a.d. 1140, the sixth of Ste- 
phen's reign, was most disastrous to that king and die kingdom in general. 
Huntingdon g;ives no details, but, summing up the hotrors of the times in a 
few words, vents his feelings in an elegy ; see before, p. 273. Makuesbury, 
alter taking a general view of the miserable state of affairs, notices 
cursorily one or two of the occurrences related by our author, to whom we 
are indebted for a circumstantial account of the transactions of this 
ptnod. 

BB 2 



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872 ACTS OF EIN0 8TBPHBN* [bOOK I. 

his spiritual weapons and the warfare of ecclesiastical dis* 
cipline, he became a man of blood, and taking into his pay 
at Ely bands of soldiers willing to engage in any service 
however villainous, he molested all his neighboui;^, those 
especially who were the king's partisans. Ely is a pleasant 
island, extensive and well peopled, with a fertile soil and 
rich pasturage ; it is surrounded on all sides by marshes 
and fens, and can be approached on one side only, where a 
strait and narrow road leads to the island and the castle* 
which from ancient times has stood above the waters at th« 
very entrance in a singular manner; so that the whc^e 
iskmd is one impregnable fortress. Thither the king, when 
he heard that the bishop had actually revolted, hastened 
with a large body of troops, and having surveyed the extra- 
ordinary and impregnable strength of the place, he anxiously 
consulted many persons how he could best invest it with 
his troops. It was advised, and he approved the counsel, 
that a number of boats should be collected where the cur- 
rent of water round the island appeared to be slackest, and 
that a bridge should be constructed across them formed of 
bundles of wattled rods laid lengthways to the bank of 
the island. The king, being highly delighted, ordered the 
work to be immediately executed ; so that shortly he and 
his followers easily passed over to the island on the bridge 
thus ingeniously constructed with boats. After crossing 
the water by these means, some slimy marshes were ^till to 
be passed ; but the king received private information of a 
ford which was sound at bottom and offered a safe passage. 
It is said that a clever monk of Ely suggested the mode of 
crossing the water, and was the guide who pointed out the 
way to cross the marsh; and we saw him afterwards for 
this service, thanks not to St. Peter's key but to Simon's, 
. admitted into the church and made Abbot of Bamsey; and 
we know that afterwards he was subjected to much trouble 
and aflBLiction, the Almighty justiy punishing secret offences, 
on account of his unlawful intrusion into tiie church. But 
of this hereafter. Meanwhile, the royal troops, penetrating 
into the interior of the island, were permitted to overrun 
every part of it, and having taken prisoners some of the 
bishop's soldiers, with a great booty and large sums of • 
money, they got possession also of the small castie whidi 



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A.D. 1140.] ELT TAEEK.-— COBNWALL BEGOYEBED. S73 

stood at the entrance to the island in which the bishop and 
his soldiers had taken refuge. This great success very 
much damped the courage of the enemy throughout Eng- 
land. The bishop, who had some difGiculty in making his 
escape from the royal troops, fled in poverty and distress to 
Grioucester, which all who were harassed by the king made 
their common receptacle : there, in his indigence, he dis- 
covered what he had not learnt in the days of his wealth 
and pride, that ** the Lord bringeth down the mighty from 
their seat^" and humbleth to the lowest pitch those who 
exalt themselves. 

While th is was doing in Ely, William Fitz-Eichard, a 
man of noBle descent, and who held the county of Cornwall 
in fiill lordship under the king, traitorously broke his oath 
oi fealty, and admitting Eeginald, son of King Henry into 
a castle which had always belonged to the royal juris- 
diction, gave him his daughter, with the whole county of 
Cornwall. In possession of this principality, Eeginald con- 
ducted himself with more courage than prudence, com- 
pelling the inhabitants to submit to him by force of arms, 
garrisoning all the castles with his own partisans, and 
grievously oppressing the king's adherents in his neighbour- 
hood. And so far did he cany his insane audacity, that he 
did not even spare ecclesiastical property, nor restrain his 
freebooters from robbing the churches. For this cause it was 
not long before we saw him suffering under the infliction of 
the wrath of God, having been excommunicated by the 
bishop ; for the wife of his bosom was driven to madness 
and became subject to demoniacal influence, and he lost 
the greatest part of the land the traitor his father-in-law had 
given him, which was recovered by the king ; so that he 
was reduced to the castle in which he lived, his enemies 
becoming so powerM that even there he was in great 
straits. For the king, having intelligence of this rebellion 
in Cornwall, hastened thither before he was expected, and 
retaking the castles which Eegkiald had seized, he entrusted 
the country to Earl Alan, a cruel and crafty man, with whom 
he left an active body of soldiers, commanding him to allow 
Eeginald no repose untU he had driven him out of the 
country. 

Meanwhile, Bobert, who was Earl of Gloucester, but in 



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874 Axsn OF xnta sisfhbn. [b<»<is j. 

anns against tlie natires of that county, who were earoUad 
in great strengdi for the king's service, was greatly cleli^tfid 
when he learnt that <he king had entered Cornwall, inash 
much as he exposed himself to a snocessful attack wiule 
cooped up in a oonier of England at a distance fix)m kis 
main force ; where Ite trusted, hy God's help, to be i^le to 
crash him. Having, therefore, assemlded a large body of 
troops, with fitoa:«s of all kinds, he was proceeding to Con^ 
wall by hasty marches, when he heard rumoiB^ that ^be 
king was on his retom^ having ssocessMly accomplished 
all his purposes, and would shortly make his appeaxance «t> 
the head of a pow^erful force. This was no Mse or un- 
founded report, for liie king, i^eceiving secs^ intelligaaceof 
the ead's advance, had summoned aH the baians of Deyen- 
shire to his aid, and was prepared to engage t^ earl that 
veiy day. The two parties were already so near each ^ther 
&at they might have fulfilled their wishes, had not tJ» 
earl, listening to the prudent advice of his friends, been 
persuaded to draw off his troops Mkd commence a setrea^ 
towards Bristol wi^ all expedition. The king, continuii^ 
his majndi vnthout molestation, redi»)ed several tiaMorous 
oastiles, some of which were evacuated at the xnere tidings 
of his approach, and others were assaulted and stormed, 
dearing and tranquilliziiig all 1^ surrounding district 
over vdiieh the lords of the castles and their foUowers 
tyrannized. 

About this period, 'Bdbert Fitz-Hubert\ a man of ilemidi 
extraction, both bold and vnly, who, as it is^akl of the judge 
in the Gospel, feared neither God nor maai, with a detaofc- 
m^it of Bobert the earl's soldiers, for be was in his 
pay, carried by a stealthy ni^t attack the royal castle of 
Devizes, a stately and strbn^y-fortdfied place, by means <jf 
scaling ladders strongly and deverly formed of thon^^ 
which he threw over the battlements, and which reached ti> 
the foot of the wall. Having thus ^ected an entraiicet 
escaping the vigilance of the guard, he secured in their 
sleep the royal garrison, except a few w3io, roused by the 
noise in the dead of the night, hastily betook themselves ia 

* Our author has mentioned this ruffian before; see p. 369. Malmealmry 
gives some strange anecdotes of his barbarity. He took Devizes Caitb by 
nrprise in Pftsflbn uredc. 



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A.B.1140.] mnrrzEB castle seized. STI^ 

the keep of ^e cosfle ; but as they had not carried provi- 
sions with ^ttem, and no succaar arrived from tibe king's 
party, after a few days they surrendered the keep. 

The report of this hold achievement getting abroad, the 
Earl of Gloucester sent his son with a strong band of 
soldiers to share with Bdbertlhe custody of the castle ; but 
he was driven from the gate with foul and menacing words^ 
82^ returned to his father with a message fr^m Bobert, 
that he had taken, the castle for hds own benefit, and not £or 
the purpose ctf giving it up to a stronger party. Things 
turned out sus tins wily plotter had calculated, for ni^theo; 
adhering to the side of the earl, nor submitting to the king, 
he drew about him a strong band of his own people, axid 
by force car fraud got possession of all the country roimd. 
"Bixt Profvidence converted his enterprise to his own ruin^ 
according to the divine sentence, by the sins that a man 
committeth, he shall be punished. For as he had circum- 
vented othCTS by his cunning, he also fell a victim to fraud ; 
and, being taken and thrown into chains, died in tortures. 
There was in the neighbourhood a man named John', 
equally crafty, and ready for any enterprise to be accom- 
plished by stratagems, who forcibly held the royal castle of 
Marlborough. This castle Robert marked for his own, in- 
aismuch as it was contiguous, and a convenient appendage 
to his OT^m, and if he ocmld reduce it he should be better 
able to promote discord throughout Engkmd. He therefore 
sent a message to John that he wished to come to terms of 
peace and alliance with him, and soa^at admittance to his 
castle for the sake of giving Bxtd receiving mutual advice^ 
and wotdd maintam their league imbrok^i and their amify 
entire. John, however, detected in -Ihes^ proposals a stra- 
tagem for surprising his castle, and, afiecting to receive his 
orders with joy and to gmnt all that was desired, he ad- 
mitted Robert into the castle, but, immediately closing the 
gate, he threw him into the dungeon to die of hunger and 
suffering. • Hetiidi sallied forth *on Bob«i;'s conu»des,whp 
were WEuttug witJ»out to second his attempt, and, c^turing 
«eme of them, imprisoned them with their leader, while the 
rest were forced to flee to Devizes in disgrace. 

' John '* Fitz-Gilbert," — Malmeshwry, 



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876 ACTS OF EINO- STEPHEN. [BOOK I, 

When the Earl of Gloucester heard that the miscreant 
had fallen into the hands of John, who was at this time his 
faithful partisan, he rejoiced much, and, attended hj a 
brilliant retinue, went to Marlborough, and taking Eobert, 
brought him to Devizes, where he had him hanged in the 
sight of his own people ; a just and divine retribution, by 
which one who had brought to death so many thousands by 
cruel inflictions, perished himself by a disgraceful punish- 
ment. After his execution, his kinsmen and comrades in 
Devizes, whom he had solemnly adjured not to surrender 
the castle though he should himself be hanged, gave it up, 
for a large sum of money paid by the king, to his son-in-law 
Hervey of Brittany, a man of rank and a brave soldier. 
For some time he maintained an incessant and vigorous 
conflict with the king's enemies ; but in the end he was 
hemmed in by the country folk, and the castle was block- 
aded by the whole population of the neighboiu'hood, so that 
he had no option but to quit it, and he became an exile : 
but of this in the sequel \ 

After these occurrences, Geoffrey Talbot, who has been 
already noticed in fitting places, made an attempt to reduce 
the garrison which the king left in the fortified city of 
Hereford to defend the country and protect his rights. 
Taking possession, therefore, of the cathedral church of 
Mary, Mother of God, he irreverently expelled the servants 
of the altar, and rudely filled it with armed men, converting 
the house of prayer and ghostly propitiation into an abode 
of confusion, warfare, and blood. It was a scene of insuf- 
ferable horror to all pious minds when the habitation of life 
and holiness was made to harbour robbers and cut-throats. 
The citizens ran about wailing when they saw the church- 
yard dug up to make a rampart for the fortified post, and 
the mouldering or xiewly-interred corpses of their parents 
and relations rudely thrown up firom their graves, — a horrid 
spectacle. They mourned, also, at seeing the tower, from 
whence they had been accustomed to hear the peaceful and 
harmonious sounds of the church bells, now converted into 
a station for engines of war, from which missiles were hurled 

' Our author has here anticipated the course of eTents. See hereafter^ 
under the year 1141. 



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AJ>. 1140.] SIEGE OF HEEEFOBD. 377 

to crush the king's troops. While GeofiGrey was making 
desperate attacks on the royal garrison from the church, 
Milo of Gloucester, having laid siege to the castle from 
another quarter, was also occasioning them great annoyance 

hy his siege artillery.* . . ♦ 

that he would make 

amends for all in which he had offended. Wherefore the 
king resolved that, renewing his agreement and re-estabhsh- 
ing peace with this man^ he would silently observe whether 
his actions frdMed his promises, and so he turned his 
attention to other matters. After considerable time when 
there was no appearance of the earl being more devoted to 
the king than before, and, Uving in the castle of Lincoln 
with his wife and children, he oppressed the townsmen and 
people of the neighbourhood, Ihey privately sent messen- 
gers to the king, repeatedly imploring him to take the 
earliest opportunity of besieging dae earl and his people in 
the castle. The king, arriving unexpectedly, was received 
by the citizens, but he found the castle almost deserted, 
except that it was tenanted by the wife and brother of the 
earl, with a few of their attendants ; he himself on the 
king's approach having made his escape almost alone. The 
king, therefore, laid siege to the castle with determined 
vigoin*, grievously annoying those who remained in it by 
engines for throwing missiles and other warlike machines. 
Meanwhile, the Earl of Chester summoning to his aid 
Bobert, earl of Gloucester^, with Milo and all the rest who 
were in arms against the king, with whom came a formi- 
dable but ill-conditioned body of Welshmen, they unani- 
mously agreed to make a united attack on the king's army. 

' The MS., again £uling, throws no further light on the transactions of 
this year. Malmesbnry relates that, soon after Whitsuntide, a conference 
took place near Bath between the Earl of Gloucester and the legate and 
others on the part of the king, in which terms of peace were discussed^ 
which, he says, Stephen rejected^ as he did another proposal in the mouth of 
September following. 

^ When the MS. serves us again, the author is speaking of Banulf, 
earl of Chester, who bore a distinguished part in subsequent events. The 
*time is the latter end of the year 1140, or the beginning of 1141. Malmes- 
bnry says that King Stephen had peaceably departed from the county of Lin- 
coln before Christmas, hayinff augmented the honours of the Earl of Chester. 

' Malmesbury describes the earl's feelings and policy at this period. 



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S78 A0I8 OF sura STEfonir. [book i. 

It was the feast of the Purificaticm, and -wiiUe mass -wm 
being celebrated at dawn of day, and the king, according to 
tlie order and office of the festival, was h<dding a candle of 
wax in his hand, it was suddenly extingmsbed, ti:ie candle, 
as it is said, being broken short ; but, -retaining it in his 
hand, it was stuck together again and. relighted; a token 
liiat for his sins he diould be deprived of his crown, bat 
on his repentance, through God's menjy, he should won- 
derfully and gloriously recover it. For inasnmdi as he 
still hdid the candle in his hand, aMK)ughitwas broken, that 
was a sign that he should not resign ihs crown, nor lose the 
name of king, tiiou^ he became a ciqitive ; and it was so 
ordered in t^ wonderful dispetosatdons of Providence, that 
though he fell into the hands of his greatest enemies, 
liiey were never able to deprive him of his kingdom. 

Upon hearing tbot the enemy were at himd, and that 
unless he reftresJJBd a battle was ine\dtable, the king shnink 
from staining his i^utation by an ignominious flight, and, 
putting his troops in battle array in excellait order, drew 
them out of the city to meet the attack. A strong body 
df horse and foot was detached in advance to oppose ihB 
passage of a ford^ ; but the enemy, by a prudent chspositiodot 
of their forces and an impetuous charge, obtained posses- 
sion of the ford, and boldly routing tibe detachment and 
putting it to flight, they fi^ irresistibly, by a combined 
movement, on Hie royal army, slaying some, and reserving 
others as prisoners to be ransomed; while many, among 
whom were the Earl of MeUent and William de Ypres, 
flying shamefully before battle was joined, liie victors took 
the Mng prisoner, flghting stoutly to the last. The dlizens 
who fled to seek refuge in the town were closely pursued, 
and many were slaughtered ; the houses and churches were 
pillaged and burnt, and lamentable scenes of destruction 
were exhibited in ev^ quarter, Otbers congregated near 
the crowd of captives, and especially about the king. While 
he was being disarmed, he frequently exclaimed, in hunn- 
liation and grie^ that tiiis shameful disaster had befallen 

' Over the Trent, nrhich wms now in flood fvom heary mins ; but thd 
Sari of Gloucester swam over the xapid river with his whole army, McUmes- 
5ury;— whose account of the battle of Lincoln is very short MuD.tingdotC$ is 
much more circumstantial than that of our present author ; see before, p. 274. 



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AJ>. 1140.] STEPHEN PBI90NEB IN BBI8TDI. CASTLE. 379 

him as a ptinislim^it for his sins ; Imt that those also i?ere 
gaihy of a veiy great crime who, breaking Ihek fealty and 
disregarding their oaths, and making no aooonmt of the 
homage which had been vohmtarBy pledged to him their 
king and lord, had so foully and desperately rebelled aigainst 
him. Upon tliis the smroimding mnltitadewere moved wi& 
pity, sheddmg tears and uttering cries of grief, and viiAi 
heart and mouth compassionating his distixss. 

The Eaii of Olouoester earned the king^ -with him to 
his sister, the Countess of Anjou, in Gloucestershire, and, 
having held council, committed him to close custody m 
Bristol Castle for the remainder of his days. The earl was 
mistaken, and knew not the secret counselsof Ihe Ahmghty, 
in whose hand, as it is written, are the hearts of kings, and 
He tumeth them ^^thersoever He wiUedi. He reduced 
the King of Babylon, who proudly exalted himself against 
Him, to the condition of a beast, that by the sense of his 
hmniliation, and his better knowledge of God, He might 
in the end accept and raise him up. He also drove Da^ 
from the throne, on accoimt of his sins, by the persecotioin 
of his son, and allowed him to wander about in strange 
luding-plaoes, humbled and dishcwioured, that thereafter He 
might restore him to his kingdom wilh marvellous honour. 
He likewise, who does nothing in vain, determined in Ms 
secret counsels to cast down King Stephen for a litde time, 
in order that afterwards he might be more highly and won- 
derfully exalted. How singularly that came to pass I shall 
distinctly relate in the sequel. 

When the king was in captivity, aad, as I moitioDed 
before, condemned, by God*s permission, to imprisoooMOl 
in Bristol Castle, aU England was struck with astond^ 
ment. To some, who hoped that in consequence the war 
would be ended, a day of r^oicing and a new li^ appeared 
to dawn ; others, who thought deeper, were of opinioii ihat 
the crime of which they were guilty against their king and 
lord could not be expiated without great damage to th* 

> tfalinesbury fpeaki in strong tenns of the reqpact shown hj the €ftrl to 
the king immediately after the battle ; and sajs that on his first imprison- 
ment in Bristol Castle he was treated with every hononr^ but, abusing his 
prtirfleges, he was then confinod vr'Ok htitOL 



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380 ACTS OF BINa 8TBPHBN. [BOOK I. 

kingdom and themselyes, and that the internal wars would 
not be so easily terminated, consideiing that the majority 
of the people were on the king's side, and that the strongest 
castles were in Uie hands of his adherents* It will presently 
be seen that thus it turned out. Now, however, the greatest 
part of the kingdom gradually submitted to the countess 
and her supporters ; and some of the royal party, surprised 
by sudden disasters, were either taken prisoners or violently 
expelled from their territories; others, quickly falsifying 
the allegiance which they owed to the king, voluntarily 
offered to her themselves and their property. They were a 
servile and despicable crew, who, when their king and lord 
was borne down by a sudden disaster, but had not lost all, 
so quickly transferred the fealty they had pledged him. 
Earl Alan, a man, it is said, of a most savage disposition 
and of deep guile, while he was endeavouring to entrap the 
Earl of Chester, in revenge for the disgraceful captivity he 
had inflicted on his lord and master, was foiled by the 
enemy and taken himself. Bound with fetters, and im* 
mured in a foul dungeon, he was compelled to bow his 
head with forced humility and to a dishonourable servitude, 
doing homage to the Countess of Anjou, and placing his 
castles at her disposal ; meanwhile, he ceded the county of 
Cornwall, which had been granted to him by the king, to 
Beginald, who was now in his native country. Earl Hervey, 
idso, the king's son-in-law, who was long beleaguered in the 
castle of Devizes^ by a rude multitude of country people 
banded together for his ruin, at last gave up the castle mto 
the countess's hands, and bemg driven from England by this 
dishonour went beyond sea wi3i only a few followers. Hugh, 
also, sumamed The Pauper, who by royal hcence possessed 
the earldom of Bedford after the expulsion of Milo de Beau-r 
champ, conducted his af&drs with so much negligence, like 
the careless and effeminate man he was, that, willing or 
not willing, he gave up the task to Milo, becoming, by the 
righteous judgment of God, from an earl, a simple man-at« 
arms, and from that, shortly, a penniless man^. 

These and other adherents of the king, compelled 

* See befim^ p. 876. ^ g^ Mon, p. 346, and the note appended. 



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s 



A.D. 1140.] HATJD FBOCLAIMEB QUEEN. 881 

by misfortune, some also voluntarily and without compul* 
sion, transferred their allegiance to the countess ; among 
these were Kobert de Oly, warden of Oxford under the 
king, and the Earl of Warwick, weak men, more addicted 
to pleasure than gifted with courage. The countess now, 
elated with pride, assumed an air of extreme haughtiness ; 
instead of tlie gentle and graceful manners becoming her 
sex, she carried herself arrogantly, her language became 
imperious, and she took measures for being shortly det 
dared queen of England, and honoured by the royal ti^e in 
the capital of her lord* She took counsel how she might 
attach to her cause Heniy, the bishop of Winchester, the 
king's brother, who ranked higher than all the nobles of 
England in wisdom, in policy, in courage, and in wealth. 
If he should be willing to espouse her cause, he should be 
first in honour and in council ; but if he should oppose her, 
and manifest any symptoms of rebellion, she would rally 
the whole power of England against him. The bishop was 
much perplexed : on the one hand, there was the greatest 
difficulty in supporting the king's cause and restoring it to 
its former pitch, chiefly because the royal castles were not 
stored with provisions nor sufficiently garrisoned; on the 
other hand, it was a serious afiBeur, and indecent in the eyes 
of the world, while his brother was alive to desert him 
suddenly in his adversity. In his doubts and difficulties 
between these two courses, but inclining to the more tempt- 
ing policy, he determined to temporize, entering into a 
league of peace and amity with the enemy, by which he 
would secure himself and his adherents from molestation, 
and be in a situation quietly to observe the state of the 
kingdom and how affairs were tending, so that, if oppor- 
tunity offered, he might promptly and freely stand up for 
his brother. 

A treaty of peace and concord having been accordingly 
concluded, the countess was received and conducted with 
great festivities into the city of Winchester, where the 
bishop placed at her disposed the king's castle, with the 
royal crown, which she had always ardently desired, and 
the treasTU'e, small in amount, which the king had left; 
causing her to be proclaimed sovereign lady and queen 



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ZB% MSB OF Kssa bzephbm;. [book i. 

m tlw n uMke t place before the peopled Having now arriT«d 
at the summit of her aaabitk^i, she began to conduct her 
afiairs iaipanoiiflly and la^bly. Somue of those who were 
atlaelicd to the long, but had now agreed to submit them- 
Mbws and all they had to her, were received with coldness, 
aad at times with manifest diepkasuce ; others she drove 
from her, overwhelmed with r^roaehes and threats. Indis- 
ereetfy changmg the order oi tilings, she began to diminish 
or to deprive them of those lan(£( and possessions which 
tile king aHowed them to hdd; and to declare forfeited, 
and bestow on others, the fie& and honours of the few 
nobles who still adhered to the king's cause. Whatever 
tiie king had enacted by royal ordinanoes, she despotieallj 
reversed by word of mouih ; aad the gracuts which he had 
firmly and irrevocably made to dburches and his followers 
in the wars, she at once revoked and bestowed on her own 
partisaxis. But she gave the most flagrant proof of hex 
supercSiousness and arrogance in her conduct to the King 
of the Scots, the Bishop of Winchester, and her brother 
tiie Earl of Gloucester, the most powerful men in England. 
When these, who were in constant attendance on hea:, 
having any petition to present, bent the knee as they came 
into tiie presence, so &r firom desiring them 'to rise, when 
bowing before her, as would have been becoming, or grant- 
ing their requests, she repeatedly refused to hear them, 
and dismissed them, slighted, with some haughty reply. 
She did not rely on their coimsels, as would have been 
fitting and she had promised, but ordered all affairs at her 
own will and mere motion. The Bishop of Winchester, per- 
ceiving that some things were done without his assent, and 
others without his being consulted, was much disgusted; 
but, cautiously dissembling what he felt, he watched in 
silence the turn of affairs. 

Having now obtained the submission of the greatest part 

' On the 2nd of March. Malmesbury gives a full account of the negoti- 
ations between the earl and the bishop which precede the proclamatioii of 
the empresB-qneen ; as well as of the proceedings of a council held at Win- 
chester the week after the ensuing Easter, which lasted for several days, and 
tsnninated in a general at^nowledgment of her claimSk 



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A.D. 1140.] THE KMPBESS MAXJD COMBS TO LONDON. 6€S 

of ihe kingdom \ taken hostages and receired hcHliage, syad 
being, as I have just said, ekted to tiie hi^est pitch of 
arrogance, she came widi vast military £splay to Loi«i<Hi, 
at the hnmble request of the citizens^ Thej fcmcied that 
Hiey had now arriTed at happy days, when peace and tran- 
quillity would prevail, and the kingdom's sufferings would 
be followed by a change for the better. She, however, sent 
for some of the more wealthy, and demanded of them, not 
with gentle courtesy but in an imperious tone, an immense 
siun of money. Upcm this they made comfilaints that titetr 
former wealth had been diminidbed by the troubled stale 
of the kingdom, that th^ had liberally contributed to the 
relief of the indigent against the severe £Kmine which was 
impending, and tiiat they had subsidised the king to their 
last farthing ; they therefore humbly imj^red her demeney 
— that in pity for their losses and distress she would show 
some moderation in levying money from, them, and that in 
imposing a new and vexatious tax she would at least allow 
a Httle time to the exhausted citizens : when the disturb- 
ances arising out of the wars entirely ceased and tranquil- 
lity was restored, wealth would return, and they should 
be better able to supply her wants. When the citizens 
had addressed her in tiiis manner, she, without any of the 
gentleness of her sex, broke out into insufferable rage, 
while she replied to them, with a stem eye and frowning 
brow, "that the Londoners had often paid large sums to 
the king; that they had opened their purse-strings wide to 
strengthen him and weaken her ; that they had been long 
in confederacy with her enemies, for her injury ; and that 
they had no claim to be spared, and to have tibe smallest 
part of the fine remitted." On hearing this, the citizens 
departed to their homes, sorrowful and unsatisfied. 

In this juncture, the queen, who was a woman of clear 
understanding and masculine firmness, sent messengers to 

> Huntingdon says tiutt the whole English nation nibmitted to her, ex- 
cept the men of Kent, who had with them Stephen's queen and her ad- 
herent William d'Ypref» 

' Malmesbury observes that it was a work of great difficulty to soothe the 
minds of the Londoners to receive the empittst, for though the affair was 
•ettled at Winchester immediately after Baiter, it was only a few days be- 
fore the nativity of St. John that they consented to do so. 



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884 ACTS OF Knsa stephbn. [book i. 

the countess, earnestly imploring the release of her husband 
from a foul dungeon, and the restoration of her son's in- 
heritance under his father's will But when neither she 
nor her enyoys succeeded in their petition, but were an- 
swered with words of cruel and shameful abuse, the queen 
resolved on gaining by arms what she had fieuled to do by 
her prayers ; she tiierefore assembled a splendid body of 
troops, and, marching them to London \ stationed them 
over the river, with orders to harass the countess's sup- 
porters round the city with pillage and assault and fire and 
sword. The Londoners were thrown into great distress at 
seeing the country wasted before their eyes, and being 
driven to their houses, like hedgehogs, by these hostilities, 
with no one ready to resist them ; and also because their 
new mistress exceeded all bounds in her cruel treatment of 
them, and there was no reason to expect in time to come 
gentleness and bowels of mercy from one who in the first 
days of her reign was pitiless in extorting from them in- 
tolerable exactions. They therefore entered into consultar 
tion on the fitness of forming a confederacy with the queen 
for the restoration of peace and obtaining itie king's release 
from imprisonment ; since, they justly remarked, they had 
unwisely deserted his cause too soon, and subjected them- 
selves to the tyranny of new masters while he was yet 
living. 

Accordingly, when the countess, feeling secure that her 
will would be obeyed, required an answer to her demands, 
the whole city flew to arms at the ringing of the beUs, 
which was the signal for war, and all wi2i one accord rose 
upon the coimtess and her adherents, as swarms of wasps 
issue fix>m their hives. The countess was just sitting down 
to dinner, in unconscious security, when she heard the 
noise of the tumult, and, receiving private information that 
she was to be attacked, she sought safety for herself and 
her followers in instant flight. Putting their horses to a 
gallop, they had scarcely left behind them the houses of 
the suburbs, when a coimtless mob of the townsfolk burst 
into the quarters they had quitted, and pillaged everything 

1 This expedition of Stephen's queen, which is not mentioned by the 
other historians; agrees with what I have quoted from Huntingdon in a for- 
mer note. 



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A.D. 1140.] THE I;MPBES8 EXl'ELLED FBOM LONDON. 885 

which their unpremeditated departm^e had left in them. 
Several of the barons, impelled by their fears, had fled with 
the coimtess, but they were not long the companions of 
her flight; for so great was the alarm occasioned by the 
sudden outbiu-st of the insurrection, that, forgetting tlieh' 
mistress, and thinking only of their own escape, they took 
the first turnings of the road which presented opportunities 
for effecting it, and made for their own estates by various 
bye-ways, as if the Londoners were in close pursuit. Not 
only the Bishop of Winchester, who is said to have been 
privy to and at the bottom of this conspiracy, but some 
other bishops and belted knights, who had come to 
London with great pomp and pride for the coronation of 
their mistress, quickly sought shelter wherever they could 
find it. The countess herself, with her brother the Earl 
of Gloucester, and a few other barons whose course best 
lay in that direction, hastened to Oxford at their utmost 
speed ^ 

When they were in this manner frightened out of Lon- 
don, all those of the king's party who had been humbled 
and crushed by his captivity, inspired with new hopes, flew 
eagerly to arms amidst mutual congratulations, and rose 
upon the countess's adherents in aU quarters. The queen, 
having been received by the Londoners, laid aside all 
female weakness and the softness of her sex, and bore her- 
seK manfully and resolutely. She worked upon her sup- 
porters who had still held out, and the king's friends, 
wherever they were dispersed throughout the coimtry, both 
by her entreaties and offers, to join her in compassing the 
kings dehverance. Still more earnestly she suppUcated 
the Bishop of Winchester^, the papal legate, that, pitying 
his brother's captivity, he should unite his endeavours with 
hers for the king's release, and thus restore her husband 
to her, the king to his people, a protector to the kingdom. 
The bishop was moved as well by the sorrowful intreaties 
of the woman constantly urged, as by the strong ties of 

* Malmesbnry states in few words that the empress, Imving notice of the 
plot, quietly withdrew her followers in good order ; but the graphic account 
of the whole affiiir given by our author has every appearance of truth. 

' The empress and the bishop had a Mendly conference at Guildford. — 
Malmetbury. 

c c 



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986 ACTS OF KING 8TEPHBM. [BOOK I. 

blood, to consider deeply how he might best effect his 
brother*s release from imprisomnent^, and reinstate him 
on the throne. But the Countess of Anjou, shrewdly sus- 
pecting the bishop*s secret intentions, hastened to Win- 
chester with a body of disciplined troops, to endeayour to 
forestall his movements ; and as she was entering one gate 
of the town with a numerous retinue, her arrival being 
wholly unexpected, the bishop, mounting a swift horse, 
escaped at another gate^ and made aU haste to secure him« 
self in one of his own castles. Upon this the countess, 
summoning her partisans by proclamation throughout Eng- 
land, collected a vast army, and formed a close blockade pf 
the bish<^*s castle, a stately edifice in the centre of the 
town, and of his palace, which he had converted into a 
strong fortress. 

I think fit to give here a slaort account of Hhobe who, ccA- 
lecting their forces, joined the countess in this siege, in 
order that the reader may reflect that it was not by man's 
strength, but by the marvellous power of the Almighty, 
that so vast and so mighty a host was quickly subdued and 
dispersed, made captive and aonihilated, as will be shown 
in what follows. There was David, king of the Scots, who^ 
as I have before related, had been akeady twice driven 
from England in shameful discomfiture, and was now a 
third time, to his deep disgrace and with great peril to his 
followers, forced to flee, as were mai^ others. There were 
also Robert, eaii of Gloucester; Ranulf, earl of Chester' ; 
Baldwin, ead of Exeter; Reginald, bastard son of King 
Heniy, and earl oi Cornwall ; Milo of Gloucester, who was 
now made earl oi Hereford, to the satisfaction of all ; 
Roger, earl of Warwick ; William de Mohun, who was now 
made earl of Dorset ; and also Botterel, earl of Britany. 
The barons were nowise inferior to the earls in fiuthfulness 
and merit, in coinage and gallantnr. There were Briaa, 
mentioned before ; John, sumamea the Marshall ; Roger 
de Oleo ; Roger de Nunant ; William Fita-Alan, witii others 

' Huntingdon relates that iBe empress was so ezasperatecl by ker expul- 
sion from London, that she ordered ike king to be bound in "fetterBi S«e 
Malmesbury's account of Stephen's treatment in note, p. 37^. 

' Malmesbury does not mention thist. 

' Malmesbury says he came too late to be of any service. 



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A.D. 1140.] THE SIEGE OF VIKCHESTER. 387 

whom it would be tedious to enmnerate All these, having 
mustered their followers in great force, vied with each 
other in joint and indefatigable efforts to reduce the bi- 
shop's castle. 

Meanwhi